Antigua and Barbuda police chief denies fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi was abducted by the force
- Commissioner of Police of Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Atlee Rodney on Friday denied that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi was abducted by the Antigua police.
Antigua and Barbuda police chief Atlee Rodney on Friday denied that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi was abducted by the force. “We have no information or indication that Mehul Choksi was forcefully removed from Antigua. The only assertion we are hearing is from the attorney (of Mehul Choksi) and Dominica police is not confirming that story. We have no involvement in his movement from Antigua to Dominica or wherever he left,” said Rodney in a video interview.
Meanwhile, the Dominica police has charged Choksi for illegally entering the country.
The fugitive diamantaire's repatriation is nowhere in sight till next week as his hearing has been adjourned and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court will hear the matter on June 2. Choski has been released from police cells and is now in quarantine at a local quarantine facility on the island, as per local media reports.
Choksi, who went missing from Antigua and surfaced in Dominica, may be repatriated to Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican ministry of national security and home affairs earlier said on Wednesday. “Mehul Choksi is in Dominica only and he will be sent back to Antigua when everything is ascertained,” Lincoln Corbette, the acting police chief of Dominica told Hindustan Times.
This statement from the Dominican government came a day after Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda declared that his nation did not want Choksi and made it known that he would prefer that Choksi be directly repatriated from Dominica to India where he is wanted for bank fraud.
Choksi was reported missing earlier on Sunday, hours after he left his home for dinner at a restaurant in the southern part of the island and was never seen again. A manhunt was launched by the Antiguan police. He was reported to have been apprehended earlier on Tuesday by authorities in Dominica, located about 100 nautical miles from Antigua.
Choksi has denied this version claimed by the authorities in Antigua and claimed that he was abducted, forced to get into a vessel from Jolly Harbour in Antigua and taken to Dominica.
Choksi's lawyer in India Vijay Aggarwal said he had spoken to his client who told him that Choksi was kept in a police station since Monday. "There is something fishy and I guess it was a strategy to take him to another country so that there are chances of sending him back to India. I don’t know what forces are operating, the time will tell," Aggarwal said, citing his conversation with Choksi.