Mehul Choksi aide who looked after his Hong Kong business arrested in Kolkata

Deepak Kulkarni

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s associate Deepak Kulkarni, in connection with the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

Kulkarni was arrested on Monday night at the airport after he arrived from Hong Kong. He was arrested under provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

According to sources, Kulkarni was handling Choksi’s businesses in Hong Kong and was the director of one of his shell companies.

The CBI and ED had issued a Lookout Circular (LOC) against Kulkarni when the airport authorities received information about his travel to India.

He is likely to be produced before the designated court in Kolkata for transit remand and will be taken to Mumbai for custodial interrogation.

Sources in the CBI have told India Today that after ED’s custody is over, they will seek police remand to interrogate Kulkarni.

We have arrested Deepak Kulkarni at the Kolkata airport on the basis of an LOC. He was coming from Hong Kong. He was the director of one of the dummy companies of Mehul Choksi. He was named as an accused in the prosecution complaint filed in Mehul Choksi’s case. The court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him, an ED official said.

Mehul Choksi and nephew Nirav Modi are the prime accused in the multi-crore PNB fraud.

Choksi, who left India in January, is in Antigua after acquiring its citizenship through investments in the Caribbean island.

An extradition request from India is still pending before the Antiguan authorities for several months. In a video statement, Mehul Choksi claimed he was innocent and was a victim of political offence.

Nirav Modi, a celebrity diamond merchant, is reportedly in London. An extradition request for his custody is pending before the UK authorities since September.

[“source=forbes]