A file photo of Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi who has gone missing in Antigua. (ANI Photo)
Mehul Choksi names mystery woman, abductors; claims he was told an Indian politician will meet him
Indian fugitive diamantaire and multi-crore scam accused Mehul Choksi on Monday said he was abducted and beaten up mercilessly by 8-to-10 men who claimed themselves to be from the Antiguan police force.
Choksi filed an official complaint with the police in Antigua and claimed that after they reached Dominica, he was told by his abductors that he was taken there to meet a high ranking “Indian politician”.
In his complaint, Choksi named Barbara Jarabica, Narender Singh, Gurmit Singh and “unknown persons” as his abductors.
The 62-year-old fugitive said he went to pick up the mystery woman, who he claims to be on friendly terms with for a year, but was instead assaulted by a group of men.
“Over the past year, I have been on friendly terms with Barbara Jabarica. On May 23, she asked me to pick her up at her house. When I went there, 8-10 men appeared from all the entrances and beat me mercilessly,” Choksi said in his complaint.
He alleged that the woman was a part of the abduction attempt.
“When I was being beaten up, Jabarica didn’t even attempt to help me or assist in any other way by calling for help from outside; manner in which Jabarica conducted herself clearly points that she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap me,” Choksi said.
Choksi went missing from Antigua on May 23 when he was going for an evening walk. While the Antiguan PM repeatedly said that Choksi fled to Dominica with his girlfriend, the businessman’s wife Priti Choksi and his lawyers — Wayne Marsh and Vijay Aggarwal — have alleged that he was abducted by Antiguan and Indian officers, tortured and taken to Dominica in a boat. He has been charged for illegal entry in Dominica and is being treated at a hospital there after a court has adjourned the matter to June 14. A chartered jet, which went last Friday with Indian officials hoping to get Choksi deported from Dominica, has since returned.
The Dominica police claimed in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court that Choksi was found seated in suspicious condition near a jetty at Toucarie Bay in Dominica around 11.30pm on May 24.
However, the police charged him with “illegal entry” offence around 9pm on May 28, according to details of Dominica’s police affidavits exclusively accessed by HT.
Indian-born Choksi was detained by Dominican police on charges of illegally entering the island. The two islands are roughly 100 nautical miles apart.
A multi-crore scam accused, Choksi siphoned nearly ₹7,080 crore in the ₹13,578-crore Punjab National Bank fraud before fleeing to Antigua on January 4, 2018, a month before the mega-scam came to notice.
Choksi fled the country allegedly after committing fraud in the public sector lender Punjab National Bank.
In a charge sheet filed last year, the ED claimed Choksi didn’t just cheat Indian banks but customers and lenders in Dubai and the United States as well. His assets worth ₹2,500 crore have already been attached.