Mehul Choksi

Victims Unknown
Mehul Chinubhai Choksi
(1959-05-05) 5 May 1959 (age 62)
Bombay, India
Died Unknown
Known for Alleged bank fraud, wanted by Indian Judicial Authorities, Owner of Gitanjali Group
Criminal penalty Unknown


Mehul Chinubhai Choksi (born 5 May 1959) is a fugitive Indian-born businessman living in Antigua and Barbuda, who is wanted by the Indian judicial authorities for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption and money laundering. In an interview, Choksi claimed that he is innocent and all allegations against him are false, baseless and motivated by political expediency. Choksi holds Antiguan citizenship since 2017. He is the owner of Gitanjali Group, a retail jewellery company with 4,000 stores in India. An arrest warrant for Choksi has been issued in connection with the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013. In late May 2021, he had gone missing from Antigua and Barbuda. He was found and arrested in Dominica while trying to flee to Cuba in a boat. A Caribbean court has currently issued a stay on his repatriation from the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Early life

Mehul Choksi was born on 5 May 1959 in Bombay, the son of Chinubhai Choksi. He was educated at G. D. Modi College in Palanpur, Gujarat. He has three children, a son and two daughters. One of his daughters married Akash Mehta, an Antwerp-based diamond merchant in December 2010. Choksi is the maternal uncle of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi.

His younger brother Chetan Chinubhai Choksi owned and 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. In 2013, the bank litigated a lawsuit against Diminco NV, in commercial courts in Belgium and UK.


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. He owns Gitanjali Group, which includes Gitanjali Gems.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case

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. 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. At least six PNB staff and at least six employees of Choksi and Modi have been arrested so far. Choksi is a fugitive of Indian government. Choksi has protested his innocence in an open letter. 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 remained in custody till March 2018. 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).

On 7 January 2018, Choksi left India to the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. A few days later, the PNB scam was disclosed. On 15 January, he took the oath of citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, where he applied for the citizenship in November 2017 under the country's Citizenship by Investment program. However, Indian authorities argue that he has not renounced his Indian citizenship. On 17 June, his lawyer informed the Bombay High Court that he left India for medical check-up and not to avoid prosecution in the case. Ever since, CBI has been trying to extradite him back to India.

On 23 May 2021, Choksi had gone missing in Antigua and Barbuda. He was last seen around 5:15 pm on 23 May before leaving his home in a car which has been recovered by the police in Jolly Harbour area. A probe has been launched to look for him. It was reported that he may have fled to Cuba. On 26 May, he was found in a nearby Caribbean country of Dominica while trying to flee to Cuba by a boat and is held by the local police. This flee attempt would make CBI's case of extraditing him to India in Antiguan courts stronger. His lawyer claimed that Choksi was kidnapped by whom Choksi believed to be Indian and Antiguan police and brought to Dominica by a boat. He also claimed that Choksi had a swollen eye and several bruises when he met Choksi. The High Court of Justice Commonwealth of Dominica has currently issued a stay order on his repatriation from the country.

On 29 May 2021, Choksi's pictures were surfaced by Antiguan media. In the pictures, Choksi sustained several injuries to his left hand and the left eye is bruised and swollen. Several Indian agencies were in touch with the Dominican government using diplomatic channels urging that he is an Indian citizen and that he had an Interpol Red Corner notice and he should be handed over to the Indian authorities. The opposition parties United Workers' Party of Dominica and United Progressive Party of Antigua and Barbuda are allegedly utilising this opportunity to support him against his deportation to India, in return for campaign funding.

In early June 2021, Choksi filed an affidavit in the High Court of Dominica claiming there was no arrest warrant against him when he left India in January 2018 seeking medical treatment in the USA. He also stated that he has no intentions of absconding from attending the court and that he doesn't intend to leave Dominica. He claimed medical issues and fear for his health in his bail petition. Antiguan Information Minister Melford Nicholas stated that they moved to rescind his Antiguan citizenship on the basis that he provided false information while applying for the citizenship. Choksi has challenged it in the court.