Mehul Choksi

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Mehul Choksi
Born
Mehul Chinubhai Choksi

(1959-05-05) 5 May 1959 (age 59)
ResidenceAntigua and Barbuda
NationalityIndian (1959-2017)
Antiguan (2017-)
EducationG. D. Modi College
OccupationJeweller and businessman
Known forAlleged bank fraud, wanted by Indian Judicial Authorities, Owner of Gitanjali Group
Children3
Parent(s)Chinubhai Choksi
RelativesNirav Modi (nephew)

Mehul Chinubhai Choksi (born 5 May 1959) is an Indian fugitive businessman, residing in Antigua and Barbuda, who is wanted by the Judicial Authorities of India for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption and money laundering. In an interview to a leading Hindi TV channel,[1] Choksi has claimed that he is innocent & all allegations against him are false, baseless & motivated by political expediency. Choksi holds an Antiguan citizenship, and is the owner of Gitanjali Group, a retail jewellery company with 4,000 stores in India.[2] An arrest warrant for Choksi has been issued in connection with the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case.[3] He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013.[4]

Early life[edit]

Mehul Choksi was born on 5 May 1959 in Mumbai,[5] the son of Chinubhai Choksi.[6] He was educated at G. D. Modi College in Palanpur, Gujarat.[6]

His younger brother Chetan Chinubhai Choksi owned & operated a diamond company named Diminco NV, based in Antwerp, which had defaulted on a US$25.8 million payment to a subsidiary of ICICI Bank.[7] In 2013, the bank litigated a lawsuit against Diminco NV, in commercial courts in Belgium and UK.[8]

Career[edit]

Choksi started his career in the gem and jewellery sector in 1975, and took over the leadership of Gitanjali Gems from his father in 1985, when it was focused on just rough and polished diamonds.[6]

Choksi owns Gitanjali Group, which includes Gitanjali Gems.[9] Choksi is the maternal uncle of billionaire Nirav Modi.[2][10]

Large-scale fraud[edit]

In March 2018, a special PMLA court issued non-bailable arrest warrants (NBWs) against Choksi, and his nephews Nirav Modi and Neeshal Deepak Modi, owner of Firestar Diamonds.[11] They are suspected of colluding with two employees of Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country's second-largest state-owned lender, in an alleged $1.8 billion fraud.[9] At least six PNB staff and at least six employees of Choksi and Modi have been arrested so far.[9] Choksi is a fugitive of Indian government. Choksi has protested his innocence in an open letter.[9] On 6 March 2018, the CBI detained Vipul Chitalia, the Vice-President of Gitanjali Group of Companies and a key aide of Choksi. Chitalia was arrested at Mumbai airport and will remain in custody till March 2018.[12] A designated PMLA authority held that 41 properties worth about Rs 1,210 crore, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the name of Mehul Choksi and his associated firms, are money laundering assets and ordered that their attachment should continue. The central probe agency provisionally attached 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a mall in Kolkata, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231 acres of land at locations like Nashik, Nagpur, Panvel in Maharashtra and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, in February 2018 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the about US$2 billion alleged fraud at a Mumbai-based branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB).[13]

Personal life[edit]

Choksi is a Jain, and a strict vegetarian.[5] He has three children, including a son Rohan, and two daughters, Maitreyi[5] and Priyanka, who married Akash Mehta, an Antwerp-based diamond merchant in December 2010.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major highlights of world exclusive interview of Mehul Choksi from Antigua". www.abplive.in. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Who is billionaire jeweller in fraud probe?". 16 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ "PNB scam: India can seek extradition of fugitive Mehul Choksi without Red Corner Notice, says CBI". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  4. ^ "stock-markets".
  5. ^ a b c "Mehul Choksi - Miner of the new world - Livemint". www.livemint.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c qz.com, Suneera Tandon,. "The rise and fall of Mehul Choksi's sparkling Geetanjali Gems". scroll.in. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Mehul Choksi's brother a bank defaulter too - Times of India". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Worldwide freezing and disclosure relief denied in aid of a Belgian claim, in an application under section 25 Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982". The Injunctions Blog. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Bhat, Swati (25 February 2018). "Mehul Choksi claims innocence in PNB fraud with open letter". livemint.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Who is Mehul Choksi?". zeebiz.com. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  11. ^ Sahgal, Ram (3 March 2018). "PNB fraud case: Court issues non-bailable warrants against Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi". Retrieved 4 March 2018 – via The Economic Times.
  12. ^ "PNB fraud: Gitanjali Group's vice-president Vipul Chitalia detained by CBI". @businessline. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Mehul Choksi's Properties Are Money Laundering Assets: PMLA Authority". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  14. ^ https://www.weddingsutra.com/blog/mehul-choksis-daughter-weds-in-jodhpur/