The initial charge sheet has been filed against the wife of Indian businessman turned fugitive Mehul Choksi, Priti Choksi, said the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The agency has accused the woman of taking advantage and reaping the profits and finances from her husband’s offshore firms that were set up mainly to divert funds around to avoid taxes and make then untraceable. These funds were mainly siphoned out of the historic Mumbai branch of the Punjab National Bank according to sources close to the evolving incident.
The charge sheet says that she has assisted her husband in many of the activities and has full knowledge of his actions and intentions
Priti is not the only one in trouble as a trio of her husband’s companies has also been mentioned in one of the charge sheets. Gitanjali Gems one of the largest jewellery retailers in its peak, Gili India Ltd a Mumbai based jewellery store, and another company named Nakshatra Brand Ltd are the ones in question. The report also states that the three companies together own properties in the United Arab Emirates that span a massive area of 5,100 sq feet that currently has a value of around Rs. 22 crores.
An employee of the Punjab National Bank namely Mr. Gokulnath Shetty has also been named in charge sheet and is likely to face dire consequences.
There have already been two charge sheets filed in the past. The first one was 4 years ago back in 2018 and the 2nd one 2 years after that in 2020.
However, the biggest issue in the case right now is that fact that Mehul Choksi along with his wife fled to the Caribbean Island nation of Antigua and Barbuda 5 years ago back in 2017. This means that the government of India will have cooperate and work along side the government of Antigua and Barbuda to extradite Priti Choksi and possibly even Mehul Choksi so that she can undergo her trial in court and face the necessary consequences.
The government of India will also especially find it difficult to extradite back to the nation as the couple was able to attain citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda prior to seeking refuge there and so the government of that country won’t really have anything to gain by sending two of their richest citizens to India just to be put behind bars for decades.
The next few weeks is likely to have more back and forth between the two governments.