Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday was assured of full cooperation by her counterpart of Antigua and Barbuda EP Chet Greene in the extradition of Mehul Choksi, a prime accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, who is currently in Antigua.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that after India requested the sooner the matter is resolved the better it is, Greene replied that they're trying their best, though there are some legal angles and court procedures which they'll have to examine. However, he expressed the commitment of his government.
"EAM had requested him that quicker the matter is resolved, better it is. Her counterpart replied that they're trying their best, he said there are some legal angles and court procedures which they'll examine but he expressed the commitment of his PM and government before EAM. A meeting had been arranged at the request of Foreign Minister of Antigua & Barbuda. He personally wanted to tell the EAM of the commitment of his PM, his govt regarding the extradition of Mehul Choksi," said Raveesh Kumar
The issue of Choksi`s extradition was raised by Swaraj in the bilateral meeting held with the Antiguan Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Swaraj, during the bilateral meeting, conveyed to her Antiguan counterpart that there was an immense expectation in India regarding Choksi`s extradition, as he left the country after committing a massive fraud, to which she was assured of full cooperation.
"There is a lot of expectation in India as Mehul Choksi left the country after committing such a big fraud," said Swaraj. Greene replied, "As a govt, we will give full cooperation in this case."
Apart from the meeting with Greene, Swaraj also held bilateral talks with Fernando Huanacuni Mamani, Foreign Minister of Bolivia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Armenia`s Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, Austrian Foreign Minister, Isabel Saint Malo, Vice President of Panama, Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, and Roberto Ampuero, Foreign Minister of Chile.
Apart from participating in the General Debate, Swaraj, during her jam-packed schedule, will hold a total of over 30 bilateral meetings as part of her visit to the United States.