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Choksi’s international crime of ‘kidnapping’ brought shame to Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua’s oppn party leader | India News


SAN JUAN: The leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), one of the opposition parties in Antigua’s parliament, has said that the “kidnapping” of the Indian diamantaire Mehul Choksi is an international crime that has brought “shame” to Antigua and Barbuda.
“The Choksi kidnapping is an international crime that has brought shame to Antigua and Barbuda,” UPP leader Harold Lovell said while addressing a virtual meeting Tuesday.
Antigua’s newsroom reported that the UPP is on the side of Choksi’s version of events that he was kidnapped in Antigua and Barbuda. Lovell said the Antigua government was “complicit” in the kidnapping.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Gaston Browne had previously accused the opposition party of supporting the fugitive diamantaire to secure campaign funding.
Choksi disappeared from Antigua on May 23 and was captured in Dominica. Police charged him with illegal entry into Dominica after he allegedly fled Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to avoid extradition to India.
Images and videos released by Choksi’s legal team allegedly show people, including men of Indian origin, involved in an elaborate operation to bring Choksi from Antigua to Dominica on May 23, Antigua News Room reported.
Justice Abroad, the law firm has claimed that Choksi was abducted with the help of a well-known woman and men who gagged him and tied him to a wheelchair and used at least one unmarked boat to transport him from Antigua to Dominica.
Justice Abroad’s Michael Polak had said that the intention behind the entire episode was to “quickly get” Choksi to India by shortening the legal process. “The evidence, in this case, shows that Choksi was abducted in Antigua, where he had cases pending before the courts, and illegally handed over to Dominica.”
We believe the goal was to be brought to India without going through the proper legal processes in Antigua and Dominica, Polak said in the Antigua News Room.
Citing media reports, the Caribbean news portal further reported that in documents and photographs, the legal team fighting the case in Dominica shows some men who appeared to be of Indian origin on the deck of a ship that was allegedly used to transport Choksi from Antigua.
Two videos shared by the legal team show an unnamed boat allegedly carrying Choksi moving faster than the allowed limit of 8 km / h.
Choksi’s legal team claims that he arrived at the Antigua beachfront villa of his recent acquaintance Barbara Jarabik on the night of May 23 and was soon overpowered by a group of men who “ran out and beat him.” They “gagged and tied him to a wheelchair” at knife point and placed him in the boat unmarked.
Choksi’s team has been claiming that he belongs to Antigua when he acquired Antigua’s citizenship in 2018. Meanwhile, Indian authorities told the Dominica High Court in his affidavit that Choksi is an Indian citizen and noted that he is wrongly claiming renunciation of citizenship under the Citizenship Act 1955.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with the 13.5 billion rupee fraud at the National Bank of Punjab.

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