Interpol Withdraws Red Notice for Mehul Choksi: CBI Requests to Restore It
As the Red Notice Against Mehul Choksi was withdrawn by Interpol, it puts a huge question mark on India’s efforts to bring these criminals to justice.
In 2018, Choksi was accused of involvement in a major banking fraud involving the Punjab National Bank (PNB), one of India’s largest state-owned banks. Choksi is alleged to have colluded with PNB officials to obtain fraudulent letters of credit, which were used to obtain loans from other banks. The fraud is estimated to run into Rs 13,500 crores.
In January 2018, Choksi left India and travelled to Antigua and Barbuda, where he obtained citizenship through investment. In August 2018, the Indian government requested a Red Notice from Interpol for Choksi’s arrest, alleging that he had fled the country to avoid prosecution.
How was the Red Notice against Mehul Choksi withdrawn?
Due to the undergoing extradition process, Choksi has been trying his best to derail this and has been making appeals to remove the Red Notice against him. He approached the Commission for Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF), an independent body to remove his name from the Red Notice. After an initial rejection of this appeal in 2018 and 2020 following the consultation with CBI and ED, the CCF in November 2022 communicated that Choksi’s name has been removed from the Red Notice.
What is the CBI doing?
According to an official report in PIB, “CBI continues to exercise available remedial and appellate options within INTERPOL for rectification of this faulty decision and for restoration of Red Notice.”
What is Interpol and its Red Notice?
Interpol is an international organization that facilitates cross-border cooperation between law enforcement agencies around the world. The International Criminal Police Organization serves as a platform for member countries to share intelligence, coordinate investigations, and apprehend criminals who have fled to other countries. The organization maintains various databases on criminal activity, including information on wanted persons, stolen passports, and criminal organizations.
A Red Notice is a notice issued by Interpol that seeks the arrest and extradition of a wanted person. It is a global alert that is circulated to all member countries to assist in the identification and arrest of the wanted individual.
Red Notices are issued for individuals who are wanted for serious crimes, such as murder, terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime. They are issued at the request of a member country’s law enforcement agency, which provides Interpol with information on the individual’s identity, location, and alleged crime.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress MP says “Unleash ED-CBI on Opposition leaders and provide relief to Modi ji’s ‘Hamare Mehul Bhai’ from Interpol. When he can shut down Parliament for his best friend, then how can he refuse to help an old friend whose escape was facilitated five years ago? The ‘na khane dunga’ jumla is unmatched when thousands of crores are sinking.”
विपक्षी नेताओं के लिए ED-CBI, पर मोदी जी के "हमारे मेहुल भाई" के लिए इंटरपोल से रिहाई !
जब "परम मित्र" के लिए कर सकते हैं संसद ठप्प,
तो "पुराना मित्र" जिसको किया था 5 साल पहले फ़रार,
भला उसकी मदद से कैसे करें इंकार?
डूबे देश के हज़ारों-करोड़,
"न खाने दूंगा" बना जुमला बेजोड़ !
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) March 21, 2023
The Modi government is being accused of favouring the fugitive and that they are helping their ’friends’ in doing so.