Mehul Choksi submits names of his alleged abductors to Antigua Police; PM Browne orders probe
St John's (Antigua) | Jagran News Desk: Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Monday ordered a probe against Mehul Choksi's alleged abduction after the fugitive diamantaire disclosed the names of his kidnappers.
Browne said that Choksi's lawyers wrote a letter to the Antigua Police, providing the names of the people he believes abducted him. He said that stringent action would be taken "if the claims are true".
"Choksi has filed a complaint with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda to the extent that he was abducted," Browne said, "he made a formal claim through his attorneys that he was abducted from Antigua and taken to Dominica so it is a report that police is taking seriously and they are currently investigating the abduction".
Though Browne didn't reveal the names disclosed by Choksi, local media reports have claimed that opposition leaders of Dominica were involved in the abduction of the fugitive businessman. A report has also dismissed Dominica opposition leader Lennox Linton's theory, who had claimed that Choksi was brought to Dominica in the Yacht Calliope of Arne around 10 pm on May 23.
The family of Choksi had claimed that he was in Antigua till 5 pm on May 23 which makes it impossible to cover a 120-mile distance in four to five hours, which approximately takes about 12-13 hours, the publication said.
The report said that according to Customs document, the boat had left Antigua at 10 am on May 23, whereas Choksi's domestic staff had said that he was in his residence till 5 pm which indicates that Choksi did not travel by the boat which Linton is claiming.
It quoted unnamed doctors of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital, where Choksi is admitted, that a nail injury cited by his lawyers is an old one while other bruises could be new and could have been caused by even by a "slight push".
Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen.
He was detained in the neighbouring island country, Dominica, for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.
His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat.
Choksi was brought before a Roseau magistrate, on the orders of the Dominica high court, to answer charges of illegal entry where he pleaded not guilty but was denied bail.
He was admitted in the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.
The Dominica High Court has adjourned the hearing of the habeas corpus petition filed by his lawyers.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018 weeks before Rs 13,500 crore scam in Punjab National Bank (PNB) rocked the Indian banking industry.
The duo allegedly bribed the officials of the state-run bank to get Letters of Undertaking (LoU) on the basis of which they availed from overseas banks which remained unpaid.
The allegedly corrupt officials did not enter these LoUs in the core banking software of PNB, thus evading any scrutiny. The non-payment of these LoUs or bank guarantees worth Rs 13,500 crore resulted in default and became a liability on bank.
Modi escaped to Europe and was finally held in London where he is contesting his extradition to India while Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 where he had been staying since his escape from Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma