By Shermain Bique-Charles
The woman named in the kidnapping of Indian-born diamond dealer Mehul Choksi has reportedly been arrested in Abu Dhabi, sources close to the matter have confirmed.
According to reports, Barbara Jarabik was arrested following a red notice issued by Antigua and Barbuda, as investigations into the kidnapping of Choksi continue.
Observer could not confirm with local police whether they have been informed about Jarabik’s alleged arrest, but she is wanted for questioning in relation to the mysterious disappearance of Choksi who vanished from Jolly Harbour on May 232021 and was later found in neighbouring Dominica.
Choksi has maintained that on the day he was ‘taken” he was with Jarabik, who he said befriended him over a period of time in Antigua. They were very close, according to Choksi, and would go for walks together in the evening. Jarabik previously told reporters that Choksi had gifted her with a diamond which she claimed was a fake.
Choksi said that his suspicion that she was involved in the crime was based on the fact that Jarabik did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten and placed on a boat and taken to Dominica.
Choksi said the manner in which Jarabik conducted herself indicated that “she was an integral part of this whole plan to abduct” him.
Jarabik, in interviews with various media houses, has claimed however that she had met Choksi over breakfast on the day he was allegedly kidnapped, but left for the airport and was on the other side of the island when it happened.
Choksi was initially charged with illegal entry into Dominica. He was later released on medical grounds and the charge was subsequently dropped.
A probe remains underway on the basis of Choksi’s complaint to the police that he was abducted and beaten and taken to Dominica by men working on behalf of the Indian government.
The 63-year-old received Antiguan and Barbudan citizenship in 2017 through the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
The Indian government has been vigorously trying to get Choksi extradited to his native country to answer to charges that he defrauded the Punjab National Bank of millions of dollars.