Diamond jeweler Mehul Choksi, who has been accused in the Rs 13,500 PNB scam with his nephew Nirav Modi, feels that he’s an easy target for Indian government. As he opens up in his first ever interview over a phone call, he states that he has been made a scapegoat and is a “victim of political persecution”.
Said Choksi, “I am being considered as a soft or easy target because the Indian government is finding it impossible to get other wanted persons extradited from countries such as the UK… There were complacencies in the bank operations, systems, procedures guidelines, etc, as many bank officials have been charged for not doing their job according to the banking norms and policies. The bank is squarely liable for the lapses. However, I have been made a scapegoat.”
Speaking about his alleged involvement in the scam, he says, “I do not know the exact financial details because there were officers in my company who dealt with such matters… I know that we have a more than a two-decade-old relationship with PNB. My brand value has come to zero… Everything I have has been seized. They can sell off my assets and pay whoever has to be paid. They should take it from ED, I am in no position to return any money.”
India has been trying to extradite his nephew, Nirav Modi, liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former cricket administrator Lalit Modi too. But, Choksi believes that he’s being targeted heavily.