Is Mehul Choksi A Free Man Now? Here’s What Interpol’s Red Notice Withdrawal Means

The name of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has been removed from the Interpol database of Red Notices on the basis of his plea to the Lyon-headquartered agency, reports said on Monday. Four years after adding Choksi’s name to its Red List, Interpol’s decision came as a huge setback for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Indian government.

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Is Choksi a free man now? What does a Red Notice mean? What are the charges against Choksi? Here’s an explainer:

What happened?

Interpol withdrew The Red Corner Notice that it had issued against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi in December 2018. The notice is now unavailable on Interpol’s website. As of 8 am on Tuesday, the total number of Red Notices in circulation stands at 7023. Choksi’s name was not on the list.

What’s a Red Notice?

As per Interpol, a Red Notice (or a Red Corner Notice) is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action. The word ‘provisional’ is of utmost importance here. A Red Notice does not tantamount to an arrest warrant.

Member countries need to apply their own laws to decide whether or not to arrest the concerned person. The Red Notice list is updated regularly by the Interpol General Secretariat based on information provided by countries requesting the issuance and publication of such notices.

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According to sources in the intelligence community, Interpol has dropped fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi from the “Red Corner list, and he can now travel freely.

If you’re curious to delve deeper into the topic, read more about it here.

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