Why The Interpol Notice Against Mehul Choksi Was Withdrawn

In a statement on March 21, the CBI agency said CBI is taking steps for the decision of CCF to be revised and appealed to restore the Interpol red corner notice against Mehul Choksi, which was withdrawn.

After the Red Corner Notice (RCN) against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi was withdrawn, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has appealed to the Commission for Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) to restore it.

In a statement on March 21, the agency said, “Based on new information and serious errors in the decision, CBI is taking steps for the decision of CCF to be revised.”

Mehul Choksi is a key accused in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case. He fled India in January 2018, days before the CBI booked him and his nephew Nirav Modi in the case. He had by then acquired the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, and is since fighting the Indian government’s efforts to bring him back to the country.

Why was the RCN withdrawn?

A Red Notice, according to the Interpol, is “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”. The withdrawal of the RCN against Choksi — issued by the Interpol in 2018 — means he can now travel without restrictions anywhere in the world, except in India.

Choksi had appealed against the notice earlier too, but his demand was rejected in 2020. According to the CBI statement, in 2022, he approached the CCF, a separate body within Interpol that is not under the control of INTERPOL Secretariat and is mainly staffed by elected lawyers from different countries “to revise its earlier decision of 2020.” “…based on mere imaginary conjunctures and unproven surmises, a five member CCF chamber has taken a decision on deletion of Red Notice,” the CBI said.

Meanwhile, Choksi’s lawyer in India, Vijay Aggarwal, said on March 20, “Because of the efforts of the legal team and the genuineness of my client’s case, his RCN has been cancelled, and ultimately truth has prevailed.”

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.

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