Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has confirmed that a private jet from India has arrived at the Douglas-Charles Airport in Dominica as India-born fugitive Mehul Choksi continues to be held in the custody of Dominica Police, local Antigua media reported on Sunday.
“Bombardier Global 5000 aircraft of Qatar Executive landed at the Douglas Charles Airport in Dominica; its arrival has raised questions about who it brought to Dominica and who will be leaving Dominica onboard,” Antigua Newsroom tweeted. It also posted a picture of the jet, which landed at the Dominican airport on Saturday.
“Yes I can confirm that is the jet there. My understanding is that Indian government has sent certain documents from courts in India to confirm that he is indeed a fugitive and my understanding is that the documents will be utilised in the court case,” Browne told an FM radio channel as reported by the Antigua Newsroom.
“As you know the judge in Dominica has put a stay on deportation till Wednesday. So Indian government seems to be going all out to make sure he is repatriated to India to stand trial,” Browne said.
On Saturday, pictures of Choksi released by Antigua Newsroom showed him behind bars and with injuries on his hands and a swollen and bruised left eye.
These were the first public pictures of Choksi, who had reportedly gone missing on Sunday (May 23) evening. He was later apprehended by Dominica Police on Wednesday and had been in their custody since then.
Efforts have been scaled up to bring back the fugitive businessman to India. ANI has learnt that multiple agencies are in touch with the government of Dominica on the issue which has been told that Choksi is originally an Indian citizen and had taken on new citizenship to escape the law in India after having committed a fraud of almost two billion US dollars.
It is reliably gathered that India through back-channel and diplomatic route has clearly told Dominica that Choksi should be treated as a fugitive Indian citizen who has an Interpol Red Corner notice against him and he should be handed over to Indian authorities for deportation and to face the law in India for his alleged deeds which have robbed the Indian public of billions of dollars.
There is no case for Choksi to deny his Indian citizenship as any other citizenship is a front to hide his alleged crimes. In fact, neighbouring Antigua has also urged Dominica to hand over Choksi to India directly. However, Dominica remains non-committal and two days back issued a statement saying that Choksi will be handed over to Antigua.
Choksi enjoys full legal protection in Antigua and it will be time-consuming to extradite Choksi to India from there. Antiguan Prime Minister has told ANI in an interview that Choksi will not be allowed to enter back in Antigua for where Choksi fled and illegally sneaked into Dominica and was caught.
A Dominican court has extended till June 2 its order restraining the extradition of Choksi from Dominica. The High Court will also hear the Indian fugitive’s habeas corpus plea on that date.
(With ANI Inputs)