New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS): The Antigua government has said fugitive Indian jeweller Mehul Choksi was given citizenship of the Carribean country after "stringent background checks" and clearance certificate by Mumbai Police and the External Affairs Ministry.
The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua and Barbuda, however, said while conducting background checks on Choksi, it found that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had initiated investigations against him twice. But the cases, according to India's market regulator, had been closed.
In a detailed statement, the citizenship authority said the businessman's application was received in May 2017 with necessary documentary requirements, including a police clearance certificate.
"The said police clearance certificate from the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, certified that there was no adverse information against Mehul Chinubbhai Choksi which would render him ineligible for grant of travel facilities, including visa for Antigua and Barbuda."
The CIU statement, shared by Antigua Observer newspaper on its website, said these facts were being made public "in an effort to provide clarity and address misinformation that has been circulating in the public domain".
It said as Choksi's application was subjected to "stringent background checks" as is done with all applications submitted to the unit.
These checks include open source Internet checks, Thompson Reuters World-Check, queries of various sanctions lists, engagement with regional and international intelligence agencies like Interpol as well as contracted third party due diligence providers.