Absconding billionaire Mehul Choksi has cited his apparently poor health as a reason for not returning to India and has said that he won't be able to endure a 41-hour flight home. He has taken citizenship of Antigua.
Accused of cheating state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore in alleged collusion with his nephew Nirav Modi, Choksi replied to the Enforcement Directorate in the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that he is willing to join investigations via video conferencing. He said that his poor health won't allow him to be in a plane for 41 hours for a return flight to India.
Choksi, who escaped in the first week of January this year, also accused the ED of misleading the probe by not revealing his health condition deliberately. According to news agency ANI, he said that he is in constant touch with banks and wants to settle the matter.
Earlier this month, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) said that a Red Corner Notice has been issued by Interpol against Choksi. In the past, Choksi has given a number of reasons why he cannot return to India - ranging from poor personal health, personal safety in India to conditions of jails here. All the while, he has maintained that the charges against him are false.