New Delhi, Sep 11: Alleging that the PMO was protecting absconders Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, Congress said that PM Narendra Modi did not raise the issue of Choksi extradition when he held talks with Antigua President. Launching a scathing attack, Congress alleged that Antiguan President himself had said that the issue was not discussed. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, " The chowkidar has become bhagidar. Vikas with absconders has become the new slogan of Modi government."
Earlier, in his first interview Mehul Choksi, one of the key accused in the Rs 13,600 crore PNB scam, has termed the allegations levelled by the Enforcement Directorate as “false and baseless”. He was speakinging from an undisclosed location in Antigua. Choksi further said that he had tried to revoke the suspension of his passport with the Indian authorities. Congress also questioned Modi government over the interview. " The interview was organised in connivance with the security agencies," alleged Surjewala.
"The passport authorities revoked my passport altogether in view of which I was immobilize. On February 16, I received an email from the passport office which said that my passport has been suspended due to reasons of security threat to India. On February 20, I sent an email to the regional passport office, Mumbai, requesting them to revoke the suspension of my passport. However, I did not receive any reply from the regional passport office," Choksi said interview
Choksi further alleged that he was not given a reason for the cancellation of his passport.
"The regional passport office did not give an explanation as to why my passport has been suspended and how I was a security threat to India. Hence, as my passport was suspended, there was no question of surrendering the same," stated Choksi.
Purvi Deepak Modi -- sister of fugitive diamentaire Nirav Modi -- was the owner and director of several shell companies formed solely for the purpose of laundering the money and was the direct beneficiary of the proceeds of crime, says an official.
"Purvi Modi played a major role in laundering the proceeds of the crime generated from the PNB scam. She is beneficiary of at least $133 million scam money," an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official requesting anonymity told news agency IANS.
He said: "She is owner/ director of shell/ investment companies formed solely to launder the proceeds of the crime through companies -- Fine Classic FZE (UAE), Lili Mountain Investment, Pristyn Holdings Ltd, Novelar International Holdings Ltd and Pavilion Point Cooperation in British Virgin Islands, Islington International Holdings Pvt Ltd and Belvedere Group Holdings Ltd in Singapore."
The official said that these companies were formed and managed in a "very complex manner to camouflage the criminal origin of funds in these companies".
The RCN is issued to seek the location and arrest of wanted person(s) for extradition or similar legal action.
The ED wants to question Purvi Modi to unearth further details of the fraud committed by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of the Gitanjali Group to cheat the Mumbai-based PNB's Brady House branch.
The Interpol, in its notice, requested its 192 member countries to arrest or detain Purvi Modi so that her extradition process could begin.
The Interpol has issued a similar notice against Nirav Modi, who along with his family as well as uncle Choksi left the country in January, a month before the fraud came to light.