India draws closer to repatriation of Mehul Choksi as Dominica declares him “forbidden immigrant”

Mehul Choksi had mysteriously disappeared on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has resided since 2018 as a citizen.

Updated: Thu Jun 10 2021 2:45 PM IST

Roseau (Dominica) | Jagran Press Office: Facilitating his repatriation to India, the Dominican government declared fugitive diamond dealer Mehul Choksi, wanted in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) 13,500 crore rupee scam, a “banned immigrant” in their country.

In an order dated May 25, Choksi was declared a “prohibited immigrant” under section 5 (1) (f) of the Immigration and Passport Act, Chapter 18:01 of the Revised Laws of 2017 of Commonwealth of Dominica.

“I further order that the necessary measures be taken to have the said prohibited immigrant removed from the Commonwealth of Dominica in accordance with the procedure provided for by said law,” the order said, as reported by the IANS news agency.

Dominica’s Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs, in another order dated May 25, further stated that Choksi was “not allowed to enter Dominica”. This counter claims Choksi’s lawyers, who had claimed that the country’s police could not arrest the fugitive businessman.

During this time, it facilitated the repatriation of Choksi to India. Last week, New Delhi also sent a private jet to Dominica, carrying documents about Choksi’s transactions in India.

Choksi had mysteriously disappeared on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has resided since 2018 as a citizen. He was then detained on the neighboring island of Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic getaway with his alleged girlfriend.

His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped at Jolly Harbor in Antigua by Antiguan and Indian-like police officers and taken to Dominica on a boat.

His wife Priti also alleged that the whole episode since her husband’s disappearance was a state-sponsored ploy gone awry.

Speaking to ANI news agency, she claimed that Choksi’s disappearance exposed the lies of Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who said her husband went to Dominica with Barbara Jabarica, who later said that she ‘she had never been to Dominica.

“Why would he have injured marks and wounds on his body? Why would he not have carried luggage, personal effects, cash, etc. Why should his family / lawyers not be there? aware of his background? Why wouldn’t he have made advance arrangements in a hotel to stay in Dominica? Why would the Coast Guard find him stranded on an island?

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Aalok Sensharma

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