Monday, 31 May 2021 | PNS | New Delhi
Deportation papers flown to Dominica: Antiguan PM
Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has confirmed that India has sent a private jet to Dominica carrying documents related to the deportation of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi who is wanted here in a money laundering case linked to the `13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) credit fraud scam.
Meanwhile, the Antiguan media released Choksi’s photos with red and swollen eyes and bruises on his arms.
Antigua News Room, an Antiguan media outlet, reported that a Qatar Airways private jet landed at the Douglas-Charles airport in Dominica, fuelling speculation about Choksi’s deportation.
Choksi went missing from Antigua on May 23 and was subsequently detained in neighbouring Dominica.
Browne said on a radio show that the jet came from India carrying the necessary documentation needed for deportation of Choksi, the Antiguan media report said.
“Yes I can confirm that a jet is there. My understanding is that the Indian Government has sent some documentation from the courts to confirm that Choksi is a fugitive. My understanding is that it is for the court hearing scheduled on Wednesday (June 2) as the Dominica court has put a stay on his deportation. So the Indian Government seems to be going all out to ensure that he is repatriated to India and faces charges there,” Browne reportedly told the radio show in his country.
The Qatar Executive flight A7CEE reportedly left the Delhi airport at 3.44 pm on May 28 and reached Dominica at 13.16 local time on the same day, via Madrid.
A top Dominican court has restrained Choksi’s repatriation till June 2 when it will take up the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by the businessman’s attorneys there.
Choksi’s lawyer in Mumbai Vijay Agarwal has alleged that the businessman was abducted from the Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda by policemen looking like Antiguans and Indians and taken to Dominica.
Antiguan Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney, however, debunked the claims of Choksi’s counsel saying he had no information on him being forcefully removed.
The Antiguan news outlet also released purported pictures of 62-year-old Choksi with red, swollen eyes and bruises on his arms.