11/09/2018 12:50 PM IST | Updated 31/01/2019 4:22 PM IST

Mehul Choksi Says Allegations Against Him Are 'Baseless'

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused of perpetrating a Rs14,356 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank

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A file photo of Mehul Choksi.

Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi has told ANI in a video interview that allegations of his involvement in a Rs14,356 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) are baseless.

The jeweller, who is currently in Antigua and Barbuda, was answering questions asked by his lawyer for ANI.

Choksi also claimed that he tried to get Indian authorities to revoke the suspension of his passport.

Choksi, whose whereabouts were unknown for some months, seems to be making an effort to change the narrative about him in India, where there is massive public anger against corruption and billionaires who are seen to be escaping punishment after defrauding public money.

On Monday, he told Hindustan Times that he was a "victim of political persecution" and a "soft target" for the Indian government.

On Monday, Interpol issued a red corner notice against Modi's sister Purvi Modi, and CBI moved an extradition request to bring back his brother Nishal Modi.

The fraud at PNB, by far the biggest ever detected by an Indian bank, first surfaced in February. Modi and Choksi are alleged to have cheated the state-run bank by issuing fraudulent letters of undertaking and foreign letters of credit.