Mehul Choksi illegally sent from Antigua and Barbuda to Dominica with bag on head says Lawyer

Mehul Choksi illegally sent from Antigua and Barbuda to Dominica with bag on head says Lawyer

Highlights:

  • Mehul Choksi’s lawyer claims he was ‘illegally’ brought to Dominica
  • The reason for this was that Mehul Choksi did not have the option of appealing to the UK Privy Council
  • Michael Pollock, who was part of the legal team representing Choksi, claimed

London
Indian fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s lawyer, who is facing charges of illegally entering Dominica recently, claims he was “illegally” taken to Dominica from Antigua and Barbuda. The reason for this was that Mehul Choksi did not have the option of appealing to the UK Privy Council. Michael Pollock, who was part of the legal team representing Choksi, has made this claim.

Pollock said his team had also filed a complaint with the UK’s Metropolitan Police’s war crimes unit on the grounds that Choksi was tortured. Describing Choksi’s case as a “gross violation of the rule of law and basic rights”, Pollock said, “What has happened to Choksi is horrific. He was kidnapped by luring him with a property. A bag was placed on his head, he was thrashed and forcibly put on a boat and illegally deported to another country.

‘Can appeal to the Privy Council in London’
Pollock said, ‘The people in Antigua have the right to appeal to the Privy Council in London. But in Dominica it has no such system. However, the motive behind the kidnapping is not yet clear. He further claimed that he had sufficient evidence that in April 2021, Barbara Jarabika and others involved in the incident had attempted to kidnap Choksi in ‘a failed attempt to kidnap or kidnap’. He said that Choksi should be returned to Antigua.

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Giving details of the kidnapping attempt, Pollock said that Jabarika, who had called Choksi to her residence on May 23, asked her landlord if there was a facility to park a boat behind their house. Reflecting on the chat between Jabarika and the property owner, Pollock said they had discussed taking over properties adjacent to the two houses after receiving confirmation about the docking place for the boats. Pollock alleged that a property was used by his associates, who were part of the kidnapping team.

‘Diamond dealer has no access to legal protection in Dominica’
The lawyer also claimed that soon after Choksi’s abduction, Jabarika left Antigua and Barbuda for Dominica in a private plane at 7.26 pm as she felt safe. Pollock also argued that Choksi is a citizen of Antigua and any move to strip him of his citizenship or extradite him to India can be appealed to the Privy Council’s judicial committee. He also said that the diamond merchant would not have access to this legal protection in Dominica.

A complaint filed by Pollock with the UK Metropolitan Police said Choksi’s case should be investigated by a war crimes unit, as it involved ‘torture’. “The War Crimes Unit of the Metropolitan Police investigates war crimes, torture and genocide wherever they occur,” the lawyer said. The final decision in the investigation will rest with the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. According to Pollock’s complaint filed with the Metropolitan Police on June 7, Choksi was allegedly seduced by Jarabika and then taken to Dominica in a boat after being attacked by several men.

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Wanted in Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case
The complaint also states that Jarabika and three people allegedly involved in the incident are St Kitts and Nevis national Gurdeep Bath, Gurmeet Singh and Gurjit Singh Bhandal, all residents of the UK. “The process is with the Metropolitan Police and we will let them conduct their own investigation,” he said. We say there is evidence of torture in this case.’ Choksi, who is wanted in Ondian in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, went missing from Antigua on May 23.

There was a massive search of Choksi. He was reportedly caught in Dominica on May 26. Choksi is accused of illegally entering Dominica. However, the Dominican High Court has stayed Choksi’s extradition. The diamond trader is wanted in India by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 13,500 crore case. He took Antigua citizenship in 2017 and left India on January 4, 2018, a day before the case came to light.

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