Dominican PM Calls Mehul Choksi 'Indian Citizen', Says 'His Rights Will be Respected'

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Calling fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi an “Indian citizen”, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said the matter related to economic offender’s illegal entry into the island country is before the court which will decide the next course of action.

The 62-year-old businessman is currently facing a court case in Dominica for illegally entering into the island country from Antigua, where he had been living as a citizen since 2018. He is being treated at a hospital in Dominica after the court has adjourned the matter to June 14.

“The matter of this Indian citizen (Mehul Choksi) is before the court. The court will decide what happens to the gentleman,” he said in a press statement. However, the Prime Minister added that Choksi’s “rights will be respected as has been done thus far”.

According to Hindustan Times, Skeritt also said, “We have no issues in so far as the matter relates to Antigua and or India, we are part of our own community and we must recognise our duties and responsibilities in this regard.”

The Prime Minister also mentioned that he would not like to get into the matter by making public statements.

Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 after he fled Delhi. He was detained later in the neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry. His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen, who looked like Antiguan and Indian, and then brought to Dominica on a boat.

Speaking to ANI, the opposition leader Lennox Linton had said, “The presence of Indian-born Antigua and Barbuda citizen Mehul Choksi in Dominica following allegations that he was kidnapped in Antigua, beaten, ferried to Dominica and taken into the country against his will, highlights once again the extent to which departments of government are involved in organised crime under the influence and/or direction of the regime of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.”

Meanwhile, the multi-agency team from India which had gone to Dominica for Choksi’s deportation has returned to the country after the Dominica High Court adjourned the hearing. The jet carrying the team led by CBI DIG Sharda Raut departed the Melville Hall Airport in Dominica at 8.09 pm (local time) on June 3 and arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here at 11.02 pm (IST). The team remained stationed for nearly seven days to bring Choksi to India as legal battle continued in the courts of Dominica.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before a multi-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank rocked the Indian banking industry. The duo allegedly bribed officials of the state-run bank to get Letters of Undertaking (LoU) based on which they availed loans from overseas banks that remained unpaid.

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