INTERPOL has withdrawn Red Corner Notice (RCN) alert against businessman Mehul Chowksi. His name no longer appears in the Public Red Notices for wanted persons of INTERPOL. However, his business partner and nephew Nirav Modi still appear in the list of wanted persons.
Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are wanted in India for a Rs 13,500 crore alleged bank fraud. They are suspected to have defrauded a public sector bank by producing fake guarantees to avail loan. When the case came to notice of authorities, both left India and were subsequently declared fugitive by the courts. Later, Mehul Chowksi acquired Antiguan citizenship by investment.
As per Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Central Bureau for INTERPOL in India, the purpose of a Red Notice issued by INTERPOL is to seek location of a wanted person and to seek their detention, arrest or restriction of movement for purpose of extradition, surrender or similar action. Mehul Chinubhai Choksi was already located prior to publication of INTERPOL Red Notice and steps also initiated for his extradition. Although the primary purpose of Red Notice was already achieved, the same was retained as a precautionary measure.
Non-publication of Red Notice is done by Commission for Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF) which is a separate body within INTERPOL. As per CBI, CCF took decision on deletion of Red Notice based on mere imaginary conjunctures and unproven surmises. CCF has subsequently clarified to CBI that its decision in no manner has any determination on any guilt or innocence of Mehul Choksi for crimes he remains charged in India. CCF has also reiterated that it has not established factual certainties and there is no factual finding in their decision that Mehul Chinubhai Choksi will not have fair trial in India. CBI is taking steps for the decision of CCF to be revised.
INTERPOL Red Notice is neither a prerequisite nor a requirement for extradition proceedings. Extradition request made by India is under active consideration before authorities in Antigua and Barbuda and remains fully unimpacted by deletion of Red Corner Notice (RCN).