Mehul Choksi’s wife under scanner, agencies uncover alleged loot money trail
Documents prove that Choksi’s wife was the ultimate beneficial owner of the companies
Agencies allege that Priti Choski actively swindled PNB loot money through various shell companies
Rs 391 crore money trail revaled by probe agencies
New Delhi: In another blow to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, his wife Priti has also come under the scanner of probe agencies in India. Times Now learned that agencies have uncovered alleged money loot train. The channel accessed certain documents which prove Priti Choksi’s links to certain firms that have linked by the agencies and resultant accumulated wealth from whom have been finally attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The documents talk about at least three properties, the addresses have also been given so that there is little confusion. Properties, according to the agency, which have been bought by the illegal wealth. As per the documents, in 2013, Priti Choksi asked one CD shah to incorporate three offshore companies- Charring Cross Holdings, Colindale Holdings and Hillington Holdings- in Dubai.
In all three firms, nominee directors were provided by CD Shah’s company Magnus Consultancy. “All the three companies were operating for the beneficial interest of Mehul Choksi”, the documents state. The companies were direct beneficiaries of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 391.48 crore.
Documents show that Priti Choksi was directly involved in laundering money that was defrauded from Punjab National Bank, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation has hinted. In 2013, Priti along with someone named Dion Lily-White, an employee of Gitanjali Gems in UAE, met CD Shah and his assistant Neha Shinde, to incorporate three offshore companies for her. Shah ran a consultancy named Magus Consultancy.
Hillingdon Holdings was incorporated in Jabel Ali Free zone on November 24, 2013, and Priti Choksi was the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO). In Japan, Arvind Kumar Shah, an employee of Magus, was appointed as nominee shareholder and director therein Hillingdon Holdings was the sole shareholder of Ms Goldhawk DMCC (former name Diminico DMCC). Several companies of Mehul Choksi, like Diminico DMCC (later changed to Goldhawk DMCC), a subsidiary of Hillingdon Holdings Ltd, were operating for the beneficial interest of Choksi.
On November 9, 2014, AED 6,00,000 (Rs 1.2 crore) were transferred into the account of Hillingdon Holdings from Ms Asian Diamonds and Jewellery FZE which was a UAE-based Gitanjali group company and a direct beneficiary of proceeds of crime. Ms Goldhawk had three immovable properties in Dubai with a total area of 5123.08 sq ft, valued at Rs 22.54 crore). These immovable properties were registered under Diminico DMCC and are still in the name of the same company.
The documents state that Choksi’s wife was an active accomplice in his criminal activities and that she played a pivotal role in the whole crime. The agencies allege that Priti Choski actively swindled PNB loot money through various shell companies. She allegedly transferred crores from PNB swindle to purchase properties in Dubai.
Meanwhile, The legal team of Mehul Choksi in London has approached the Metropolitan Police under the “universal jurisdiction” provision to investigate his alleged kidnapping from Antigua and Barbuda to neighbouring Dominica, lawyer Michael Polak said.
Polak said Choksi was removed from Antigua and Barbuda, whereas a citizen he enjoys rights to approach the British Privy Council as last resort in cases on his citizenship and extradition, to Dominica where these rights are not available to him. He said English courts and British Police have “universal jurisdiction” to probe such cases wherever they take place.
Polak has alleged that people involved in the kidnapping had conducted a dry run in April. Giving details of the abduction attempt, Polak said Barabara Jabarica, who lured Choksi to her AirBNB accommodation on May 23, had specifically asked the owner if there is a place for docking a small boat in the backyard.
Showing chats between Jabarica and the owner of the properties, Polak said she had discussed taking two adjoining properties after getting confirmation about docking place for boats. Polak alleged that one property was used by people with her who were part of kidnapping team.
Making matters worse for the fugitive economic offender Choksi, India has filed an affidavit proving the businessman’s citizenship in the Dominica High Court. The Indian investigation team consisting of ED and CBI have prepared the affidavit, which was filed by Ministry of External Affairs’ official on behalf of the Union of India.
Apart from stating that Choksi is an Indian citizen, the affidavit says that he is wanted in Rs 13,000 crore bank scam for which the investigating teams want to take him back to India.