UN meet paves way for Mehul Choksi's extradition to India as Antigua assures 'full cooperation' to Sushma Swaraj
Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene on Wednesday local time reassured External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of full cooperation...
Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene on Wednesday (local time) reassured External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of full cooperation in the extradition of Mehul Choksi, a prime accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, who is currently in Antigua.
The issue of Choksi's extradition was raised by Swaraj in the bilateral meeting held with the Antiguan Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
When asked if Antigua would help India in extraditing Choksi, Greene told ANI, "I think it is only appropriate if you speak to your Foreign Minister."
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Swaraj, during the bilateral meeting, conveyed to her Antiguan counterpart that there was immense expectation in India regarding Choksi’s extradition, as he left the country after committing a massive fraud, to which she was assured of full cooperation.
Apart from the meeting with Greene, Swaraj also held bilateral talks with Fernando Huanacuni Mamani, Foreign Minister of Bolivia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia's Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, Austrian Foreign Minister, Isabel Saint Malo, Vice President of Panama, Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, and Roberto Ampuero, Foreign Minister of Chile.
The External Affairs Minister was also slated to meet her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UNGA. However, after increasing reports of violence on police and army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the meeting was called off.
Apart from participating in the General Debate, Swaraj, during her jam-packed schedule, will hold a total of over 30 bilateral meetings as part of her visit to the United States.
Meanwhile, a special court on Wednesday gave Choksi time till October 30 to file his reply to an Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea seeking to declare him a "fugitive" under a new law.
Earlier, the Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had summoned Choksi before it on September 26 in connection with the ED's plea to declare him a "fugitive" under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.