Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said he is not aware of “any conclusive evidence” but there is information in public domain that diamantaire Mehul Choksi was abducted and law enforcement agencies may be having some “persons of interest” after their research.
Choksi, wanted in Rs 13,500 crore bank fraud case in India, had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen.
Browne was responding to questions of opposition MP in the Parliament there who asked him whether the Scotland Yard or any other investigative body found any evidence that Choksi was taken to Dominica by “involuntary means”.
“Mr Speaker, I am not aware of evidence but this information is in public domain that Mehul Choksi was abducted. And, I am aware that law enforcement here would have done some research and perhaps may have some individuals of interest but as far as evidence is concerned I am not aware that there is any such conclusive evidence,” Browne said, according to a clip of Parliamentary proceedings shared by media outlet Antigua News Room.
He also replied in the negative when asked if the Scotland Yard or any other agency has contacted his government about the alleged abduction of Choksi.
Choksi was detained in neighbouring island country of Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.
His lawyers alleged that he was abducted from Jolly Harbour in Antigua on May 23 by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat.
Legal team of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in London had approached the Metropolitan Police under the “universal jurisdiction” provision to investigate his alleged kidnapping from Antigua and Barbuda to neighbouring Dominica.
His lawyer Michael Polak had said Choksi was removed from Antigua and Barbuda, where as a citizen he enjoys rights to approach the British Privy Council as last resort in cases on his citizenship and extradition, to Dominica where these rights are not available to him.