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Choksi’s Wife Slams ‘Friend’ Barbara Jabarica’s ‘Bogus’ Claims

Mehul Choksi’s wife Preeti Choksi claimed that Barbara Jabarica was a part of the plan to abduct her husband.

Updated
India
4 min read
Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi.
i

Adding to the twists and turns of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s case, his wife Preeti Choksi on Thursday, 10 June, refuted the claims of his alleged girlfriend Barbara Jabarica that Mehul Choksi had befriended her with a fake name and suggested that she, too, was a part of the alleged abduction plan.

Jabarica on Wednesday had claimed that Choksi had introduced himself as ‘Raj’ and that she would speak to him over text messages only once a month.

Suggesting that Cuba “might” have been Choksi’s final destination, Jabrica on Wednesday had claimed: “Well, he never used words like escape or shared with me such a plan. However, he did ask me twice if I have ever been to Cuba, he also told me that next time we may meet in Cuba.”

However, Preeti Choksi on Thursday alleged that Jabarica was an integral part of the abduction plan.

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What Did Barbara Jabarica Say?

Barbara Jabarica told ANI that Mehul Choksi had allegedly introduced himself as ‘Raj’ and had approached her in August 2020.

“Raj (Mehul Choksi) was the one who approached me, asked for my number and 'befriended me', totally the opposite of what his wife says,” she said, adding that she has known him since last August and met with him at Jolly Harbour “when I rented an Airbnb accommodation near where he also lives.”

Jabarica also claimed that Choksi used to text her regularly, though she replied once a month.

However, they started having weekly conversations from April-May of this year, discussing business opportunities, Jabarica claimed.   

Countering claims of being Choksi’s girlfriend, Jabarica was quoted as saying, “I made this clear in a few interviews that I was not his girlfriend and he's not my sugar daddy or anything like that. I have my own income and business. I don't need his cash or support, hotel booking, fake jewellery or anything like that.”

After allegations of being involved in a scheme to kidnap Choksi came to the fore, Jabarica confirmed that Choksi was a friend and that she met him over breakfast on the day when he was allegedly kidnapped. However, Jabarica claimed that she left for the airport and was on the other side of the island later.   

“You can call the restaurant; they can confirm that the last time I saw Mehul Choksi was on the morning of 23 May. We went, we had a breakfast meeting, we had coffee and then we got back to the Jolly Habour area around 11:30 am,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.

Moreover, Jabarica claimed that for people who know the Jolly Harbour area, it’s impossible to kidnap anyone there in broad daylight.

She expressed her shock at being involved in the alleged abduction and said, “I think so far they are changing their stories. Of course, I am very shocked and speechless. I’m trying to understand why they want to bring me into this story. Why they use my name? (sic),” she told ANI.

"He started to like me and in April, he gave me a diamond bracelet. He told me that he likes me a lot and that I was his soul mate,” she was quoted by India Today as saying. Later, Jabarica allegedly discovered that the bracelet gifted to her had “very good fake diamonds.”

Jabarica Was an Integral Part of the Abduction: Preeti Choksi

Responding to the allegation that Choksi introduced himself as ‘Raj’, Preeti Choksi said that even a child looks up the identity of his/her friends on social media and that it would have taken Jabarica only a second to find out who he was.

Choksi’s wife also invalidated the chats between Choksi and Jabarica, saying that anyone can easily create or change the content of such messages using Photoshop and that there isn’t any evidence to support their authenticity.

While referring to the timeline of events, she said, “it is common sense that if the version of events advanced by my husband is a lie, then why would he risk his entire reputation by first giving false information and then revealing the only link by which his story might fail? These bogus claims are only an attempt to present a wrong picture of my husband,” ANI reported.

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Choksi’s Complaint to Antiguan Police

In his complaint to the Antiguan police, Choksi had claimed that he was on “friendly terms” with Jabarica over the past year.

“On 23 May, she asked me to pick her up at her house. When I went there, 8-10 men appeared from all the entrances and beat me mercilessly (sic),” Choksi reportedly said in his complaint.

He added that the men took his phone, watch, and wallet but returned his money.

“When I was being beaten up, Jabarica didn’t even attempt to help me or assist in any other way by calling for help from outside – the manner in which Jabarica conducted herself clearly points that she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap me,” Choksi claimed in his complaint, as reported by ANI.

Choksi is currently facing trial in Dominica for allegedly entering the country illegally from Antigua, where he had been living after fleeing India over the Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud case.

(With inputs from ANI and India Today)

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