NEW DELHI: In some respite to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, authorities in Dominica have dropped all charges of illegal entry a year after his arrest in the island nation, confirmed his lawyer Vijay Agarwal.
Choksi is wanted in India by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
Speaking to The New Indian, Agarwal hailed the discontinuation of proceedings against Choksi as victory of truth.
“Truth always comes out in the end no matter how hard anyone tries to stop it or hide it. Lies are just temporary delays to the inevitable. It was extremely insensitive for some people to call injuries on my client, Mr Mehul Choksi to be self inflicted because of some legal strategy,” he said.
Choksi was arrested in Dominica on charges of illegal entry after he mysteriously disappeared from Antigua in May last year.
The businessman had alleged that he was abducted from Jolly Harbour in Antigua on May 23 by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian and taken to Dominica on a boat. His wife, Preeti had made sensational claims that a woman, Barbara, whom he befriended in 2020 had laid a trap to bring him to India.
She had claimed that among the crew of the boat were two Punjabi men. “Barbara had asked Mehul to pick her up from here residence.. Minutes later, eight to 10 men barged in. He was whisked away,” Preeti had said.
Choksi was later granted bail by the Dominican High Court on medical grounds and flown back to Antigua where he has been living since January 2018 before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked him along with Nirav Modi in the fraud case.
Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua under its investment programme in 2017.
Last month, the CBI registered a fresh case against Choksi and his company Gitanjali Gems for allegedly defrauding the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI).
Nirav Modi, another accused in the bank fraud, is currently currently lodged in a prison in London. He was arrested in March 2020 and is contesting extradition to India. His bail application has been repeatedly denied in the United Kingdom.