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India files more charges against Choksi

Investigators in India have filed more charges against diamond trader and Antiguan citizen Mehul Choksi relating to a US$2 billion bank scam in the Asian nation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) fresh charge sheet books the 62-year-old with destruction of evidence, among other things.

The document is expected to be shared with authorities in Dominica to boost India’s case to have Choksi returned to his native land to face prosecution.

The CBI says the fugitive collaborated with Punjab National Bank officials to get papers issued fraudulently, causing losses to the bank of US$952 million. Those papers include 165 letters of undertaking (LOUs). LOUs are a form of bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customer to raise money from another Indian bank’s foreign branch in the form of a short term credit.

The Indian government is said to have informed Dominica’s High Court last week that Choksi is still an Indian citizen – despite holding an Antigua and Barbuda passport – and needs to face the law in his native land.

Choksi went missing from his Jolly Harbour home on May 23. He was found in Dominica the next day and has since been charged with illegal entry into the nature isle. His lawyers have alleged he was abducted and taken there by force.

Choksi is expected to appear before magistrates in Dominica today to be further remanded.

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