Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi planned to escape to Cuba via Dominica, his alleged girlfriend Barbara Jabarica said on Wednesday.
Barbara Jabarica revealed that Mehul Choksi told her to meet in Cuba next time, she told news agency ANI in an exclusive interview.
“Well, he never used words like escape or shared with me such a plan like this. However, he did ask me twice if I have ever been to Cuba, he also told me that next time we may meet in Cuba. He never explained the escape plan but I’m certain that Dominica is not ideal of his final destination but if you ask my opinion, I can be more and more certain that Cuba could have been his final destination,” told Barbara Jabarica to ANI.
In his recent complaint to the Antiguan Police Commissioner, Mehul Choksi claimed that he was attacked by eight to 10 men while he was on his way to meet Barbara Jabarica, with whom he claimed to have ”friendly terms”.
Interestingly, Mehul Choksi was allegedly kidnapped during a breakfast meeting with Barbara Jabarica.
She told ANI, ” He (Mehul Choksi) hinted me messages like a yacht and if he goes to other islands in the Caribbean, Cuba so there is something that he must be planning for a later stage, that’s one of my opinions also that he told me that he is doing a lot of meditation and like last month someone visiting from New York and they have their own guru and they did meditation and he also told me this on Sunday during breakfast meeting that he is practicing to not to have any feeling of fear and then on that day you have this kidnap situation, story start to holding together.”
The claim by Barbara Jabarica strengthens the theory that Mehul Choksi was planning to escape to Cuba. However, his family and lawyers rubbished it and accused Barbara Jabarica of plotting the abduction of Mehul Choksi.
Reacting to this Barbara Jabarica said, “This week onwards I’m trying to catch up with media and all the news, I’m hearing and reading a lot of crap and interesting insane stories, by looking back what they initially said what lawyer and wife said at the beginning I believe he said he was driving down in Jolly harbour. He was on the way to dinner. I think that was the first statement and they blamed the Antigua police. A bit later they started with Indian agents, who wanted to kidnap him, and again later, the idea was he came to my apartment, that I lured him, I forced him then he was honey-trapped by a person or police he knows.”
“I think, so far they are changing the stories. Of course, I’m very shocked and speechless. I’m trying to understand why they want to bring me into this story. Why they use my name? What is really the idea from the beginning or was it a backup plan – option B, that something didn’t work out. They think this story can be used since she was in the area?” she added.
Mehul Choksi also alleged that Barbara Jabarica did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten up and placed on small watercraft. He said the manner in which Barbara Jabarica conducted herself clearly pointed out that “she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap him”.
Barbara Jabarica confirmed that she met Mehul Choksi over breakfast on the day when he was allegedly kidnapped but she left for the airport and was on the other side of the island on that day.
Barbara Jabarica said, “You can call the restaurant. They can confirm that the last time I saw Mehul Choksi was on the 23rd morning. We went, we had a breakfast meeting, we had coffee and then we got back to the Jolly harbour area at 11:30 am or a maximum of 12 mid-day. After that we said goodbye to each other, even though he was insisting, he was convincing me why don’t I extend my stay and stay longer. But I told him that I have business to do, I have to go to another island and I can’t just stick around all the time in Antigua. So, that was the last time we talked and since then even when I was in Europe our conversations and chats were more of a weekly”.
Mehul Choksi and his lawyers have filed a complaint against Barbara Jabarica for abduction and torture. They have also accused her of conniving with Indian-origin men.
She outrightly rejected the allegations saying, “No not at all, I was asked questions earlier about two Indian guys on the boat. I don’t know those people and no one contacted me, there was no sign of any abduction or kidnapping and people who know the Jolly harbour area really well, it is literally impossible to kidnap anyone there in the family area in the middle of Sunday daylight. As per me, why this isn”t got done at 7 pm when we do our walking and its dark and no one is on the beach or why didn”t happen in one year, plenty of time when we were driving down in motorway.”
The fugitive diamantaire, who has been in Dominica for around two weeks, is facing legal proceedings.
Mehul Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 and was caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank.