Gitanjali Gems' Mehul Choksi captured by Dominica police
Jewellery tycoon Mehul Choksi, wanted by Indian authorities for alleged fraud, has been captured in Dominica. Indian authorities aim to deport him directly to India but face legal hurdles as he has taken Antiguan citizenship.
“Choksi, a citizen of India and who is wanted by the Indian authorities, has been detained by law enforcement for illegal entry into Dominica,” said the country’s Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs in a statement on Thursday, ET Bureau reported. “
A red alert has also been issued by Interpol bearing Choksi’s name. The Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs is in communication with the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda to ascertain some facts including the status of his Antiguan Citizenship. Once the information is provided by the Antigua authorities, possible arrangements will be made for Mr. Mehul Choksi to be repatriated to Antigua.”
Choksi is believed to have been attempting to flee to Cuba by boat and authorities believe he entered Dominica illegally by boat but details have not been confirmed. Antigua’s prime minister Gaston Brown told Indian news agencies that he would like to see Choksi sent directly from Dominica to India.
However, Choki’s legal counsel, Vijay Aggarwal, said that Choksi’s Antiguan citizenship means he can only be deported from Dominica to Antigua and there are no legal grounds for returning him to India as he gave up his Indian citizenship. Aggarwal also said that he believes Choksi could have been taken to Dominica against his will and urged authorities to look into how he arrived in Dominica.
Choksi is wanted alongside his nephew and fellow jeweller Nirav Modi for alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank. Modi is currently in a UK jail attempting to appeal the UK court’s ruling to extradite him to India to stand trial.
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