CHENNAI: A fortnight after two South Korean nationals kept under house arrest by Tamil Nadu police, as per the directions of the Supreme Court, escaped from custody and reported to have fled to South Korea using forged documents, the Madras high court has ordered a CBI probe into the incident.
Choi Yong Suk and Choe Jaewon, managing director and general manager of Chowel India PVT Limited respectively, were arrested for alleged GST violation to the tune of Rs 40 crore.
Arrested in 2019, the duo was remanded in Central Prison at Puzhal. Later, in view of bail granted in their favour, they were lodged at the foreigners’ detention camp, Trichy.
Citing Covid-19 outbreak, they moved the high court seeking permission to be lodged at their own residence instead of the detention camp. Though the HC rejected their request, the Supreme Court granted them the relief.
They were also directed to pay the monthly expenses (about Rs 3 lakh per month) incurred by the state for detaining them in their residence.
Subsequently, another FIR was registered against them based on a complaint from their driver that they are trying to flee out of the country using forged documents.
Apprehending arrest, the duo moved the HC seeking anticipatory bail and to keep them in their residence in case of arrest. HC dismissed the plea observing that foreign nationals visiting India are our guests, but the law of the land comes to the protection of their life and liberty only when they too abide by such laws.
While so, a habeas corpus petition moved by the duo challenging their detention in the camp came up for hearing on Monday before the division bench of Justice P N Prakash and Justice R Hemalatha.
Counsel for the state Muniapparaj informed the court that the both accused have escaped from house arrest and that it is suspected that they have fled to South Korea through Manipur using forged documents.
Recording the submissions, the bench directed the CBI to take over the investigation and file a preliminary report on January 25, 2022.