Fact Check: Did Mehul Choksi Take His Girlfriend To Dominica?
How did Mehul Choksi actually land up in Dominica?
The fugitive businessman was apprehended in Dominica on May 27, for illegal entry, a few days after he went mysteriously missing from Antigua & Barbuda.
His lawyer alleged that Choksi was abducted and beaten by Dominican Police. Dominican Police denied that allegation and lodged a case of illegal entry.
Giving a new twist to the case, Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne said on Sunday said that the Indian diamantaire may have taken his girlfriend to Dominica on a romantic trip and got caught.
“In the case of Dominica, the issue of extradition does not arise… It is a case of deportation as he is in the country illegally. He has no status in the country and therefore has no constitutional or legal protection,” Browne told radio station Antigua Newsroom.
“So Dominica has a free hand. In fact, Mehul Choksi may have made a mistake in going to Dominica. The information that we’re getting now is that he may have taken his girlfriend to Dominica probably to date and have a good time and so on… and got caught. That would have been a monumental error because he is a citizen here in Antigua, we could not have deported him,” the PM added.
Choksi, accused in a Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud, escaped from India to Antigua & Barbuda in 2018, where he took citizenship to evade legal proceedings in India.
Browne urged Dominica to deport Choksi back to India instead of sending him back to Antigua, adding that Choksi’s citizenship will ultimately be revoked.
A Dominican court extended a stay on Choksi’s deportation to India after hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by his lawyer. The next hearing is scheduled for June 2.