British police ‘probing Choksi’s abduction’

Mehul Choksi has been a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda since 2017 (Photo courtesy STRATCOM)
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London’s Scotland Yard police are said to be probing Mehul Choksi’s complaint in which he has accused four people of abducting him from Antigua.

It’s the latest development in the saga surrounding the Indian-born fugitive who was discovered in Dominica last month, a day after he was reported missing from his Antigua home by his wife, Priti.

UK-based firm Justice Abroad Lawyers has filed a complaint with British police, on the instruction of Choksi’s legal team.

British journalist Ashis Ray told Observer yesterday that Scotland Yard had acknowledged receipt of the complaint and that an officer had been tasked with investigating the matter.

One of the people named in the complaint is Hungarian national Barbara Jarabica who is said to have befriended Choksi in Antigua over a period of several months. 

Jarabica has publicly stated she was a close friend of the 62-year-old but has denied playing a role in his abduction.

Human rights lawyer Michael Polak has taken the lead on the matter as a director of Justice Abroad Lawyers, and has written a detailed note summarising claims made by the diamond dealer.

The note is said to contain “documentary evidence” that Choksi was forcibly taken to the nature isle.

Polak filed the complaint with British police on June 7. Others named in it include British Indians Gurmit Singh and Gurjit Singh Bhandal, and Gurdip Bath who is a diplomat for St Kitts and Nevis.

Polak alleges that Choksi was kidnapped from Jarabica’s home and forced onto a boat to Dominica, claims Choksi has himself made.

Polak has apparently included in his complaint documents showing the four individuals travelling together on the same flights from London to the Caribbean and between Antigua and Dominica.

Under Britain’s Universal Jurisdiction law, a person who has committed an offence such as torture, even if abroad, can be arrested and prosecuted in the UK. Crimes prosecuted under universal jurisdiction are considered so serious they amount to crimes against all.

Meanwhile, Choksi is set to appear before Dominica’s High Court again today in a bid to be released from police custody on bail. Police there claim he entered the country illegally and have charged him with that offence. 

A separate hearing to determine if Choksi has been detained lawfully since being picked up in Dominica more than two weeks ago is scheduled to take place on Friday. 

Choksi is wanted by the Indian judicial authorities for allegedly cheating the Asian country’s Punjab National Bank of more than US$2 billion. India has been attempting to get him extradited from Antigua – where he has held citizenship since 2017 – for almost three years. 

Scotland Yard has been approached for comment.

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