Antigua Wants Choksi to be Sent to India From Dominica: Report

The Antiguan Cabinet reportedly discussed that Mehul Choksi should be repatriated from Dominica to India directly.

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File image of Diamantaire Mehul Choksi.

The Antiguan Cabinet on Thursday, 3 June, discussed that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi should be repatriated from Dominica to India directly, local media reported, according to IANS.

The Antiguan Cabinet under Prime Minister Gaston Browne reportedly said that the cabinet prefers that Choksi is sent directly to India from Dominica.

Choksi ‘Dominica’s Problem’

According to Antigua News Room, a news outlet in the Caribbean Island, the Antigua Cabinet held a discussion on the Choksi matter, awaiting the decision of the High Court of Dominica.

It said that “Choksi remains in Dominica and has been charged with entering illegally. He will return to Court later on Thursday to answer to the charge.”

‘Local law enforcement officials continue to gather intelligence in investigation of the circumstances of Choksi’s departure from Antigua,” the cabinet reportedly said.

“Choksi has become Dominica's problem at this time. If he finds himself in Antigua, the problem reverts to Antigua and Barbuda. The preference of the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda is for Choksi to be repatriated to India from Dominica,” it added, reported IANS.

Earlier, Browne had remarked that Choksi will not be accepted by the Antigua and Barbuda, adding that he should be immediately deported to India.

Meanwhile, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told ANI, “The case is pending in Dominica court. It'll decide whether he is in illegal custody or not. Then it'll be decided whether to send him to Antigua or India.”

Choksi Denied bail

On Wednesday, Choksi pleaded not guilty to illegal entry at his court appearance and was denied bail.

The magistrate has adjourned the matter to 14 June.

The 62-year-old is wanted by the CBI and the ED in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. He left India in January 2018, days before the CBI registered a case.

Choksi went missing from Antigua on 23 May, sparking a massive manhunt. He was captured in Dominica on 26 May. On 27 May, first pictures of Choksi emerged online, showing several signs of bruises on his arms and a swollen eye.

(With inputs from IANS and ANI.)

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