Choksi’s complaint names mystery woman, 2 Indians as his abductors
Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has named the mystery woman, Barbara Jarabica, two Indians he identified as Narender Singh and Gurmit Singh, and “unknown persons” as his abductors in his complaint filed with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.
Choksi has also claimed that once he was brought to Dominica, he was informed by his abductors a high ranking ‘Indian politician’ will interview him.
Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said they have started investigation into Choksi’s abduction allegations even though he doesn’t believe that he was abducted, as reported by HT.
In his five-page complaint, filed with the Commissioner of Police of Antigua on June 3, Choksi says he was on friendly terms with Barbara Jarabica for past one year, who initially resided opposite his residential complex at Jolly Harbour but later she shifted to Coco Bay Hotel. She was even friendly with Choksi’s staff and they used to meet regularly, often while going for walks in the evenings, Choksi says.
HT has seen the complaint.
On Sunday, May 23 (the day he went missing from Antigua), Choksi’s complaint says, “Barbara asked him to deviate from the normal schedule of meeting and asked [me] to pick her up from her house, located on the road next to the marina.
The businessman, wanted in India for bank fraud worth ₹13,578 crore along with his nephew Nirav Modi, adds that he reached Barbara’s residence around 5-5.15 pm where she invited him in and indicated that she had to finish her wine and told him that they will step out in a minute.
The complaint says when he entered the house, 8-10 heavily muscled men appeared from all sides. “They claimed to be Antiguan police and that they know about me and have been watching me for a while,” Choksi says, adding that they wanted to take him to St John’s police station.
The fugitive, currently being treated in Dominica in custody after being charged for ‘illegal entry’, has alleged he was mercilessly beaten with bare hands and tased; and that the abductors took away his Rolex watch, cell phone, and wallet having $1500.
The complaint says Choksi was put on a wheelchair while he was almost in a comatose state due to the beating, a gag was put in his mouth and his face was covered. During the whole episode, he claims, Barbara didn’t even attempt to help him, which “clearly points to the fact she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap me”.
He was first placed in a small watercraft and then a larger boat, and when he resisted, he was threatened at knifepoint.
Aboard the boat, there were two Indians and three persons of Caribbean descent. Choksi has said their appearances suggested the two Indians were highly trained mercenaries, hired specifically to abduct him.
“One of the Indians said I was under observation for almost a year. They knew my intimate details about my household, such as I had a nun, where I would walk, my favorite restaurants, my daily schedule etc,” Choksi says.
Another Indian, he adds, asked him detailed questions about his finances, offshore bank accounts and threatened that if the answers were not satisfactory, he and his family will face dire consequences in India.
“I was also made to speak on the phone with a man who identified himself as Narender Singh. He said he was the chief agent of my case. He began to pressurize me to say I had cooperated with my captors and that I accompanied them of my own free volition which of course was not true,” Choksi’s complaint states. This person, Choksi alleges, also asked him to leave Barbara out of whole issue as it will lead to a public scandal.
Choksi claims the boat reached Dominica 15-17 hours after his ordeal began, which was roughly 9:30-10 am Antigua time (May 24).
“..I was told that I have been brought to this special location to give an interview to a high-ranking Indian politician. He also told me that my citizenship would be ‘fixed’ in Dominica and that I would soon be repatriated to India,” the complaint reads.
Choksi has said he was received by a battery of police officers in Dominica, including chief of police, who informed him he was arrested on the basis of Interpol red notice.
In Roseau police station, the complaint claims, Choksi was kept in a cell barely 20 square metres in size and was denied medical treatment or legal representation, saying “we don’t do that here with prisoners”.
His lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said,“Truth and false both are five letter words and not even a single letter is common. My client Mr Choksi, by giving detailed narration of events, has stated his truth, now false, which was state-sponsored, will get exposed if investigated honestly.”