Antigua and Barbuda: Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda has urged the court to dismiss the kidnapping case of the Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi citing that no convincing evidence has been discovered suggesting his alleged abduction. The appeal of AG has raised a new matter of discussion and unfolded a new chapter in the kidnapping case of the businessman as he asserted that there is a paucity of enough evidence.
The Court of Antigua and Barbuda has asked for the efficient reason behind his appeal by giving them 28 days of time. The court had stated that in 28 days the Attorney General had to present the true reason with proper facts as the country has been wasting massive amounts of money for the alleged kidnapping case of Mehul Choksi.
The kidnapping case of Mehul Choksi has been investigated thoroughly by different investigators disclosing that the kidnapping case has no leg to stand. The businessman who reportedly went missing was found in Dominica circulating several narratives of the story such as the framing of the kidnapping allegations against three individuals, fleeing to Cuba, and portrayal of himself as a victim of human rights violation.
However, the findings of the investigation revealed that there is nothing that stands as conclusive evidence of Choksi’s kidnapping. There are no eyewitnesses, no CCTV footage, or any kind of documented proof that could prove that he was forcibly taken to Dominica in May 2021.
The entire episode of the disappearance of Mehul Choksi was thoroughly explained by the following investigations which refused to accept any of his arguments.
Firstly, Kenneth Rijock – a renowned financial crime consultant and investigator investigated the case thoroughly and disclosed an accurate account of the events. The comprehensive report of the American investigator cleared the confusion surrounding the disappearance of Choksi and stated that it was all masterminded by the fugitive businessman himself. Rijock put forth major findings in his investigation explaining how the entire plot of kidnapping and disappearing was formulated by Choksi.
He referred to his kidnapping as the big bluff and stated that he framed all these narratives with the intent to escape his extradition to India. He revealed, “Soon after returning to Antigua and Barbuda from Dominica on medical grounds, Mehul Choksi utilized his political and official connections to make the entire scenario appear as a kidnapping.”
The Kenneth Rijock report, an independent investigation into the Mehul Choksi case, has reached its conclusion and presented a series of findings that may significantly impact the ongoing legal battle. The report was commissioned to provide an unbiased assessment of the facts surrounding Choksi’s alleged abduction and the subsequent handling of the case. Rijock, a seasoned financial crime expert, delved deep into the claims made by Choksi’s legal team and the evidence provided by both Indian and Antiguan authorities.
Among the key conclusions of the report, Rijock raised concerns over the credibility of Choksi’s abduction claims, citing inconsistencies in the presented narrative and the lack of concrete evidence to support the allegations. Furthermore, the report highlighted that the bribery accusations against the investigating officer have further muddled the case, calling for a thorough review of the entire investigation. Rijock’s findings have put Choksi’s defense strategy under increased scrutiny and could potentially expedite the extradition process, assuming that Antiguan and Barbudan authorities take these conclusions into consideration. While the impact of the report on the case’s final outcome remains to be seen, it has undoubtedly added another dimension to the multifaceted legal saga surrounding Mehul Choksi.
The findings of Kenneth Rijock show that to escape the Indian authorities, he decided to go to a country that had no extradition treaty with India. The investigation also revealed that while Mehul Choksi and his transporters were en route to Cuba, he received a satellite call informing him that Cuba is no longer a secure location and that he should reconsider his decision due to potential threats. After the change in plans, Mehul Choksi requested his carriers to relocate the boat to Dominica, believing that the entire plot of “disappearing” being modified to “kidnapping” would aid his extradition case on the grounds of human rights, so preventing his extradition to India.
Soon after returning to Antigua and Barbuda from Dominica on medical grounds, Mehul Choksi utilized his political and official connections to make the entire scenario appear as a kidnapping. Mehul Choksi asked Inspector Adonis Henry (Investigating Police Officer) to create a fabricated report that not only lacked crucial investigations but contained unverified information so that he could portray himself as a victim and have the illegal entry case dismissed as well as get rid of the Red Corner Notice issued by INTERPOL against him.
With his powerful connections backed by substantial financial support, Mehul Choksi also managed to erase the real version of Jamaicans – who transported Choksi to Dominica. Notably, Choksi defrauded more amount than the total GDP of Antigua and Barbuda. It is not difficult for Choksi to bribe not only police but also high-profile politicians in Antigua. He is attempting to bribe the officials of the government and corrupt the whole system of Antigua and Barbuda just to get the real charges dropped against himself.
Kenneth Rijcok stated that if Mehul Choksi was kidnapped or abducted by the Indian agencies, it is unlikely for them to take him to Dominica where extradition is even more difficult. In that scenario, he would have been taken to a state/country with close diplomatic relations to India or an international airport for direct transportation to India. It is noteworthy that the Indian law enforcement authorities only arrived in Dominica seven days after Mehul Choksi went missing, suggesting that if the Indian state had been involved in his disappearance, he would have been returned to India by now. This absence of any known motive for the kidnapping and the lack of any intervention from the Indian state led to the conclusion that the Indian state was not involved in Choksi’s disappearance.
Secondly, Mehul Choksi also accused two travellers (Gurmit Singh and Gurjit Bhandal) and stated that they were involved in his kidnapping. However, the argument was totally mutated by Tarique Ghaffur CBE QPM, a former Assistant Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service who investigate his case in 2021. He acquitted them of the respective allegations concerning an Indian fugitive businessman. He gave clearance to the travellers/tourists, stating that they were not involved in any activity in Choksi’s escape or abduction theories in his investigative report.
Thirdly, Senior Journalist of India Today in the UK, Jonathan Gilbert also gave a clean chit to Gurjit Bhandal and Gurmit Singh and stated that they were at the wrong place at the wrong time and Mehul Choksi and his lawyers misused their presence to divert the attention from reality. He interviewed them and disclosed that they are unaware of who Mehul Choksi is and has never heard of him until individuals began emailing them new items alleging that they had kidnapped him. Gurjit Bhandal stated that if any police official approaches them about the investigations, they are willing to comply.
Hence, the investigation clearly positioned Mehul Choksi as the ultimate accused in his entire story of plotting and kidnapping. He started his bad deeds in India which are still ongoing in Antigua and Barbuda. He has been trying hard to get rid of extradition to India and change to live his luxurious on the island again.
Recently, Interpol issued the Red Corner Notice against Barbara Jarabik due to which Dubai Police have arrested her. Now, the Dubai court has dismissed her case citing there was no concrete and enough evidence against Jarabik.
After the entire investigation, the police authorities of Antigua and Barbuda stated that there was no evidence to support the kidnapping and forceful abduction of Mehul Choksi.
Lawyers representing Mehul Choksi, the Indian businessman accused of financial fraud, are reportedly seeking to prolong his alleged abduction case in an attempt to delay his ongoing extradition case in Antigua and Barbuda. This strategic move by Choksi’s legal team is aimed at buying more time for their client, as they work to prevent his extradition back to India, where he is wanted for his involvement in the multi-billion dollar Punjab National Bank scam. By focusing on the abduction claims, Choksi’s lawyers hope to draw attention away from the extradition proceedings and create legal complications that could potentially impede his return to India, thus providing them with a greater opportunity to build a stronger defense for their client.
According to the Indian news agency ANI, recent developments in Mehul Choksi’s alleged abduction case have raised suspicions of foul play. The police investigating officer responsible for examining the case has been accused of accepting bribes from Choksi himself. Consequently, the legitimacy of the report prepared by the officer has come under scrutiny, with allegations that it was fabricated to support Choksi’s narrative. This revelation adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal battle, further complicating the extradition process and casting doubt on the integrity of the investigation. As authorities work to unravel the truth behind these accusations, Choksi’s legal team continues to leverage the uncertainty to their advantage, stalling his extradition and bolstering their defense.
India-born fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi is the key accused in the loan fraud case in India’s renowned bank – Punjab National Bank (PNB). He has been found responsible for fraud of around INR 13,500 crore. After committing a crime, Choksi flew from his home country in the year 2018, just a few days before the Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked his nephew Nirav Modi in a similar case.
Following this, he took the alternative citizenship of Antigua & Barbuda and since then has been narrating different stories to protect himself from any further proceedings in the case.