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“UK will end up being seen as haven for tax evaders, tax defaulters”: S Jaishankar on extradition cases

Sat, 25 May 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India has strongly presented its case relating to the extradition of fugitive economic offenders that have fled the country, adding that the United Kingdom needs to take a responsible view of the matter as it will hamper its reputation and the country will end up being seen as a haven for tax evaders and tax defaulters.
To a question regarding the high-profile extradition cases, during an exclusive interview with ANI, Jaishankar on Friday said, “That is a question which mostly we need to ask the UK because that’s where the high-profile people have gone. And we have presented our case strongly. As you can see, multiple rounds of legal proceedings have gone in our favour”.
Jaishankar was asked why the extradition process is so complicated before subsequently making them go through the Indian judicial process.
“And I think it is incumbent on the authorities (there) to take a responsible view of it. There’s a reputational implication for them. I mean, they will end up being seen as a haven for tax evaders and tax defaulters,” he further said.
The Minister further said India continues to “press very, very strongly” for their return.
“We continue to press very, very strongly for their return. They obviously use all sorts of arguments,” he added.
The extradition process enables governments to bring fugitives who have fled their country to justice. It typically is enabled by a bilateral or multilateral treaty.
Mehul Choksi is a fugitive Indian businessman, currently residing in Antigua and Barbuda where he holds citizenship. Choksi, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, is wanted by Indian authorities in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam where it is alleged that the Choksi-Modi duo defrauded the bank of more than Rs 14,000 crore.
Reportedly, PNB unearthed the scam on January 25, 2018, and submitted a fraud report to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 29.
Subsequently, an arrest warrant was issued against Choksi and he is wanted in India for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.
Choksi fled the country in January 2018 to Antigua and Barbuda, few days before the PNB scam was uncovered.
Fugitive Nirav Modi is currently in a UK jail awaiting extradition.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had then suspended the passports of both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, another fugitive accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore, is in the UK. (ANI)



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