The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a fresh charge sheet against economic fugitive Mehul Choksi to increase India's chances of bringing back the diamond merchant from Antigua and Barbuda. The charge sheet elaborately describes how Choksi passed on "lab grown diamonds" as natural diamonds to customers through his companies, Hindustan Times reported citing unidentified government officials. The charge sheet was filed a "few weeks back", the daily further reported.
"Choksi and an international web of co-conspirators used Samuels and a series of puppet vendors to create the false appearance that Samuels was purchasing and/or selling jewellery to and from unrelated third parties. In fact, Samuels and related entities - were secretly selling inventory and laundering money themselves at the directions of Choksi and individuals under his control" the daily also reported citing the charge sheet.
Choksi, the maternal uncle of diamantaire Nirav Modi, is the promoter and managing director of Gitanjali Gems. He along with Nirav Modi is a key accused in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB)?scam case. Choksi recently became a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.
ED last month brought back over 2,340 kg of polished diamonds, pearls and silver jewelry valued Rs 1,350 crore from various United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong based entities of fugitive diamantaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. These valuables in 108 consignments were brought back to Mumbai. Out of 108 consignments, 32 belong to the entities controlled by Nirav Modi and the rest belong to entities controlled by Choksi.
Earlier this year, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore on fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems and another individual for violating various regulations, including listing norms.