When fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi had applied for a passport in 2015, he was supposedly granted one without a police verification report, the Mumbai police has said in a statement.
Further, a police verification was conducted – upon the request of Choksi – in February-March 2017, months before he applied for citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda, reported NDTV.
However, the subsequent police report raised no red flags.
Since police verification is mandatory when applying for citizenship in another country, Choksi’s details were run through the criminal database by the Mumbai police.
However, no issues cropped up, and he was, hence, cleared on 14 March 2017. According to NDTV, the current criminal database – the Criminal Antecedents and Information System – throws up a red flag only if someone has been arrested for an offence.
The Mumbai police further said that Choksi had applied for citizenship much before he was named by the CBI in the PNB fraud case. The city police will, however, launch an inquiry into the instance, while also reviewing its clearance system.
The statement, accessed by NDTV, read:
The Mumbai Police is also examining its internal processes involved in the criminal antecedent’s verification process to improve the existing system.
With this statement, Mumbai Police is the third agency to issue a clarification after the Antigua and Barbuda government said that Choksi had been granted citizenship only after Indian agencies had given him the clean chit, reported NDTV.
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