Charges of illegal entry into Dominica against fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi have been dropped by the country’s government.
Choksi disappeared from Antigua on May 23, 2021 and was found in Dominica the following day. The fugitive diamond merchant was granted Antiguan citizenship in November 2017 under the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Scheme.
Choksi and his legal team alleged he was abducted by Indian agents, tortured and brought to Dominica in a ship. He named a Hungarian Barbara Jarabik and two British citizens – Gurmit Singh and Gurjit Singh Bhandal – among 7-8 people who kidnapped him and took him to Dominica. All three have denied the allegations.
The Dominican government has now cited an investigative report by the Royal Antigua Police that suggests Choksi’s mysterious appearance in Dominica was a case of kidnapping.
His capture has sparked a political storm in the Caribbean, with opposition parties accusing the governments of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda of colluding with India to kidnap the businessman.
“Mr. Choksi is pleased that the Dominican government today dropped all charges against him for illegal entry in May 2021. In doing so, they now recognize that there were never any charges against him,” said said Choksi’s spokesman.
The spokesperson added: “Mr. Choksi was forcibly removed from Antigua against his will by Indian state agents, violently assaulted and taken to Dominica by boat, where he was again illegally handed over to the authorities for an offense he never committed. Mr. Choksi’s legal team continues to pursue all avenues of justice to obtain redress for the human rights violations committed against him. Mr. Choksi hopes that those responsible for his abduction in Antigua on May 23, 2021 will be brought to justice.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before the National Bank of Punjab scam rocked India’s banking sector.
Modi fled to Europe and was eventually detained in London where he is contesting his extradition to India, while Choksi has been staying in Antigua and Barbuda since his escape from Delhi.
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