Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who has been found in Dominica, will be repatriated to India and Indian authorities are in touch with those in Dominica.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Browne said Dominica had agreed to Choksi’s repatriation and Antigua would not accept him back.
Browne said he had requested PM Skerrit and law enforcement in Dominica not to return Choksi to Antigua where he had legal and constitutional protection as citizen.
“We’ve requested that he be detained and to make arrangements with Dominican government to have him returned to India,” he said.
Choksi is wanted by investigative agencies in India in the Rs 12,000 crore PNB scam on charges of fraud. He went missing on Sunday from Antigua and a manhunt was launched by the Antigua police.
“He was found in Dominica. He may have entered the island illegally, possibly by boats. Dominican government is cooperating with Antiguan and Indian governments. We have requested Dominican law-enforcement agencies not to return him to Antigua where he has legal and constitutional rights as a citizen. We specifically requested them to have Indian law-enforcement agencies to make necessary arrangements to have him returned directly to India,” Browne told ANI.
“I am pretty sure. I am not aware that he is a citizen of Dominica and that he’d have enjoyed any constitutional protection, so on that basis it will be easy for Dominica to deport him,” Browne said when asked if Choksi would be repatriated.
“Dominica has agreed (for Mehul Choksi’s repatriation). We’ll not accept him back. He made a monumental error by skipping island. Dominican government and law enforcement are cooperating and we have informed Indian government to have him repatriated to India,” he said.
Browne said Indian and Antiguan authorities are in touch with the Dominican government.
“We have asked the Dominican government to detain him for entering their country illegally, to make him persona non grata, and have him deported directly to India,” he said.
On late Wednesday, Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, confirmed his being found in Dominicia. ANI