New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the controversy over the deportation of fugitive Indian diamantaire Mehul Choksi, whose bail plea in illegal entry to Dominica has been adjourned by the High Court till June 11, his escape plan to Cuba was revealed by his alleged girlfriend Barbara Jabarica. 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 neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

Explaining Choksi's plan, Barbara Jabarica, as quoted by ANI said, "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".

The point to be noted is that in his recent complaint to the Antiguan Police Commissioner, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi claimed that he was attacked by eight to 10 men while he was on his way to meet a woman named Barbara Jabarica, with whom he claimed to have 'friendly terms'.

"He (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 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 practising to not to have any feeling of fear and then on that day you have this kidnap situation, story start to holding together."

The above claim by Barbara strengthens the theory that Choksi was planning to escape to Cuba, however, his family and lawyers rubbished this theory and counterclaimed that he was abducted and they also accused Barbara of plotting abduction of Choksi.

Reacting to this Barbara said, "This week onwards I'm trying to catch up with media and all the news, I'm hearing and reading 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 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.

Choksi also alleged that Jabarica did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten up and placed on a small watercraft. He said the manner in which Jabarica conducted herself clearly pointed out that she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap him. Barbara confirmed that she met 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 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 extend my stay and stay longer. But I told him that I have a 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".

Choksi and his lawyers have filed a complaint against Barbara for abduction and torture. They have also accused her of conniving with Indian origin men. However, Barbara outrightly rejected the allegations of any such connection.

"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 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," she said.

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.


(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan