India inquires into Antigua and Barbuda citizenship of Priti Choksi, while residents say charges against her are pay-back
The Indian Government is seeking to verify the citizenship status of Priti Kothari Choksi and has reportedly written to the Government in this regard.
This news comes days after India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed money-laundering and fraud charges against Priti, the wife of alleged fugitive Mehul Choksi.
Some residents believe that Priti is now being targeted by the Government of India because she alleged that it was involved in her husband’s abduction from Antigua in May 2021.
However, WIC NEWS is reporting that “India has asked Antigua and Barbuda to clarify in what capacity Priti Choksi is living in the country.
“It is suspected that she might not have surrendered her Indian passport or might not be a legal citizen of Antigua and Barbuda,” the news report says.
The report notes that, at this time, local authorities have refused comment and have not provided a statement on this issue.
However, it says it is evident that the Indian government has initiated bilateral discussions with Antigua and Barbuda for Priti’s extradition to India.
The Enforcement Directorate is alleging that Priti was the ultimate beneficiary of certain offshore companies that were used for routing and parking funds obtained by defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of over US$2 billion.
Choksi’s three companies, as well as a PNB manager, have been named in the charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
It is alleged that the ED has been looking into Priti’s participation in the reported scam for a long time, since she was supposedly involved in the running of certain suspected shell firms in Dubai, Hong Kong, and other countries.
These charges were reportedly filed in March, following previous charges filed in June 2018 and April 2020, and a red or yellow Interpol notice could also be issued for her detention.