Mehul Choksi, a celebrated diamond trader-turned fraudster, could also be introduced again to India very quickly after his arrest in Dominica based mostly on an Interpol discover.
Choksi was born on May 5, 1959, in Mumbai. Since childhood, he had a dream to turn into an enormous businessman. Along together with his training from GD Modi College in Gujrat’s Palanpur, Mehul began chasing for his dream.
Mehul’s father Chinubhai Choksi was a diamond trader and was working Geetanjali Gems, a well-known diamond jewelry chain.
After getting an understanding about gems and diamonds, beneath shadow of his father for nearly 10 years, in 1985, Mehul took over the enterprise from Chinubhai. In 1985, the turnover of Geetanjali Gems was round Rs 50 crore.
With the dream of constructing Geetanjali Gems the world’s largest luxurious participant in diamond jewelry, Mehul Choksi began working laborious in direction of enlargement of his agency.
Mehul Choksi began buying and selling in tough and polished diamonds and shortly turned one of many largest exporters of uncooked diamonds in India in addition to the world.
With an purpose to serve the wealthy class, Mehul Choksi aggressively entered into the diamond & gems-studded jewelry enterprise and shortly got here up with a number of manufacturers, which noticed large success in Nineties and early 2000s.
By 2005, Mehul Choksi’s diamond and gem-studded jewelleries have been being offered from at-least 4,000 promoting factors.
In 2006, Mehul’s Geetanjali purchased Samuel Jewelers Inc together with its 111 high-end shops with some in US. Now, Mehul was instantly doing enterprise within the USA from India and different nations.
Mehul Choksi turned idol for all of the enterprise merchants, together with his Antwerp-based relative, who was father of Nirav Modi. With Mehul success story, Nirav Modi, already in enterprise of diamond buying and selling, reportedly got here to India’s Mumbai to study the artwork of diamond buying and selling.
Mehul already had an alleged established partnership with Nirav Modi’s – Diamonds R, Stellar Diamonds and Solar Exports.
But with tips of fine enterprise, Mehul Choksi additionally deliberate the soiled tips of enterprise. Sources say it began with promoting of poor high quality diamonds as unique good high quality diamonds.
Later on, they transferred and routed cash from one firm’s account to one other firm’s account.
An investigation by the Enforcement Directorate established that the unique value of Mehul Choksi’s diamonds have been 3 to 10 p.c of the worth he was charging from his clients.
With all success tales, comes failure and Mehul Choksi was additionally affected with this. His Geetanjali Group of corporations’s revenue suffered large hit in 2016 and 2017.
Aware of all of the tips to route cash, Mehul Choksi together with Nirav Modi, hatched a conspiracy to siphon off cash from Punjab National Bank.
With an excellent enterprise observe document from final 7-8 years, the credit score facility by banks to the companies related to Choksi and Modi have been in 1000’s of crores. Using this as a possibility, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi allegedly bribed Gokulnath Shetty, an worker of Punjab National Bank, to manipulate the letter of enterprise.
Using solid letter of enterprise, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi bought over Rs 13,000 crore from the Punjab National Bank in 2017, solely to launder it and siphon off.
Mehul Choksi was conscious that he will probably be caught some day. In mid of 2017, based mostly on solid paperwork, he bought an all-clear report from Mumbai Police stating that he’s an excellent citizen and he has no pending legal case in opposition to him.
Whereas sources say, Mehul Choksi had some circumstances pending earlier than him at a number of courts in India and other than Punjab National Bank, he had taken 1000’s of crores from different banks additionally.
Using the Mumbai Police report, Mehul Choksi utilized for citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda and in November 2017, he was awarded citizenship beneath the funding scheme there.
In the preliminary days of January 2018, Mehul Choksi fled from India for USA, simply few days earlier than Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR on January 29, 2018, in opposition to Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and others.
A non-bailable warrant was issued in opposition to Mehul Choksi by a Mumbai courtroom and when in June 2018, India authorities contacted US authorities for extradition of Mehul Choksi, it got here to gentle that the fugitive diamond trader had left the USA in May 2018 and now he was in Antigua as an Antiguan citizenship.
Based on a purple discover by Interpol, extradition proceedings have been initiated on the courts of Antigua, however as the federal government, there had meant to strip down his citizenship and extradite him to India, on May 23, 2021, he fled from Antigua for Cuba. This time, nonetheless, he was caught inside two days in Dominica.
Now efforts are being made to deport Mehul Choksi to India.