This may create problems for the CBI which wants his custody in a cattle and coal smuggling case.
New Delhi: Vinay Mishra, a former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader who is being sought after by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged role in a cattle and coal smuggling case, is probably living in Vanuatu with a different identity.
Mishra, after leaving the country last year, had taken up the citizenship of Vanuatu. On Wednesday, the Calcutta High Court, while deciding on Mishra’s petition, refused to quash the CBI’s proceedings against him. In view of the High Court judgment, the CBI is now free to approach the Vanuatuan government and seek his extradition.
In an exclusive interaction with The Sunday Guardian recently (‘Will revoke Vinay Mishra’s citizenship, may extradite him if he is convicted’), a senior government official of Vanuatu, who handled Mishra’s application for citizenship of Vanuatu, had said that his government might extradite Mishra if the Indian agencies approach them with the court order (referring to the Calcutta High Court judgment which had not been announced when the interview was done).
The CBI is likely to face problems as Mishra is now most likely living in the country under a different name and identity.
A set of Vanuatuan documents accessed by The Sunday Guardian, shared by a whistle-blower, shows how a citizen of Taiwan, who took the citizenship of Vanuatu by investing in the country, is now living with a new name.
On 29 January 2019, a Taiwanese national, Chen Chun Yung, who was born in Taichung city of Taiwan, changed to John Smith, a resident of Port Vila, Etafe island under Shefa province in the registry of the Civil status department, Government of Vanuatu.
The 36-year-old Yung, or Smith as one would like to call him, had opened a company—Jennifer Investment Internationals Limited—on 12 December 2018 to secure a citizenship of Vanuatu through “citizenship by investment” route. The office of the said firm, as per the documents, is located at First Floor, Vila East Shopping Center, Rue Kent, Port Vila, Vanuatu. All the 100 shares of the company were in Yung’s name at that time. The company provides consultancy service.
On 5 February 2019, the ownership of the company in the record books of Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, changed from Yung to John Smith. For those who do not have access to internal documents, it would appear that these two individuals—Yung and Smith—are separate entities, but in reality they are one and the same person.
Mishra, a prominent TMC leader, became a citizen of Vanuatu under the Development Support Program (DSP). His new Vanuatu passport number is RV0119299.