After reports emerged that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi was caught with his “girlfriend” when he was in Dominica, now sources close to him have told India Today TV that the woman was not his girlfriend, instead she was a part of a team involved in his “abduction, torture and arrest”.
The 62-year-old businessman had gone “missing” a few days back from Antigua and Barbuda, but was later caught by police in Dominica. Choksi claimed, though his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, that he was abducted on May 23 from Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda. He further alleged that those who kidnapped him in collaboration with Antiguan officials had “links to India”.
Choksi has also claimed that he was brutally beaten up, tortured and taken to Dominica in a vessel where he was arrested.
India Today TV sources also revealed that the mysterious woman in news was staying in Antigua and met Choksi during morning and evening walks. As they became friend, she invited him to an apartment to meet her on May 23. Upon reaching, a group of people “abducted” Choksi and took him to Dominica where he was held.
Some photos of Choksi surfaced which showed him standing behind an iron gate with grilles, which seems to be a lock-up in Dominica. Other photos showed him with a red swollen eye, bruises and injuries on his hand and wrist.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne had said that Choksi might have taken his “girlfriend on a romantic trip” to Dominica and got caught, as reported by Antigua News Room on Sunday.
Earlier, top officials in the central government had confirmed to CNN-News18 that a plane has been sent to Dominica to bring back Choksi. A private plane was deliberately hired from a third country. “We didn’t want to use an Indian plane due to technical reasons,” sources further revealed.
This flight was chartered from Qatar and came to Delhi on May 27. From Delhi, it flew to Madrid with Indian officials where it halted for refuelling and proceeded to Dominica.
The officials are also carrying documents in case there is need to tell court or local authorities that Choksi is an Indian citizen.
Choksi is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500 crore bank loan fraud case. He took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently. He is facing a CBI probe.