Impossible to Return to India, Says Fraud Accused Diamond Jeweler
Jeweler Mehul Choksi has written a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation, saying it is “impossible” for him to return to India as his passport has been suspended.
Jeweler Mehul Choksi, who is named in the nearly $2 billion fraud case involving billionaire Nirav Modi and the Punjab National Bank, has said that it is “impossible” for him to come back to India as his passport has been suspended. Choksi has written a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had summoned him to appear before the agency, Moneycontrol reported.
“I am in no manner dictating the terms of my appearance. However, as my passport stands suspended by the Regional Passport Office under Section 10(3)(c) of the Passport Act, it is impossible for me to travel back to India,” he reportedly wrote in the letter.
He also told the CBI that he is being “threatened” by people who he had “business relationship with.”
The CBI had asked him to appear before their office on March 7 through an email.
Choksi, who started as a trader in Mumbai and went on to own 22 companies, told the CBI that revoking of his passport by authorities on grounds that he was a “security threat” was a “violation of his constitutional rights” as they failed to elucidate how he was a security threat to the nation. His email to the regional passport office in Mumbai asking for his passport back, he said, has gone unanswered.
As the investigation into the fraud has named his companies, Choksi said a “remediless” bias has been formed against him, with political parties politicizing “the issue for their own interests” and the media behaving as if he has “already been convicted by Honorable Courts of India.”
Choksi’s assets and bank accounts have been seized and his offices in India have been shut down. He said that there is animosity among people he worked with, and with media trial and passport suspension, he is left “defenseless.”
Choksi, who left India in early January with jeweler-nephew Nirav Modi, claimed that investigating agencies are acting in a predetermined mind, causing “gross abuse to process of law.” He added that he was travelling “abroad for business” when the CBI filed an FIR against him.