Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s plan to escape to Cuba was revealed by his alleged girlfriend Barbara Jabarica on Wednesday. In an exclusive interview to ANI, Barbara revealed that Choksi had told her that they would meet in Cuba next time.
“Well, he never used words like escape or shared with me such a plan like this. However, he did ask me twice if I have ever been to Cuba, he also told me that next time we may meet in Cuba. He never explained the escape plan but I’m certain that Dominica is not his final destination but if you ask my opinion, I can be more and more certain that Cuba could have been his final destination,” told Barbara to ANI.
The point to be noted is that in his recent complaint to the Antiguan Police Commissioner, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi claimed that he was attacked by eight to 10 men while he was on his way to meet a woman named Barbara Jabarica, with whom he claimed to have ‘friendly terms’.
Interestingly on May 23, the same day on which Choksi was allegedly kidnapped, during the breakfast meeting with Barbara, Choksi said that he is “practicing not to fear”.
She told ANI, “ He (Choksi) gave enough hints and messages like yacht and if he goes to other islands in Carribean or Cuba.So there is something that he must be planning for later stage , that’s my opinion also.He was doing lot of meditation and like last month someone visited from New York and they have their own guru and they did meditation and he also told me this on Sunday during breakfast meeting that he is practicing to not to have any feeling of fear and then on that day you have this kidnap situation .”
The above claim by Barbara strengthens the theory that Choksi was planning to escape to Cuba, however his family and lawyers rubbished it and made a counter claim that he was abducted and they also accused Barbara of plotting the abduction of Choksi.
Reacting to this Barbara said, “This week onwards I’m trying to catch up with media and all the news, I’m hearing and reading lot of crap and insane stories. By looking back at what they initially said what the lawyer and wife said at the beginning I believe he said he was driving down in Jolly harbour. He was on the way to dinner. I think that was the first statement and they blamed Antigua police. A bit later they started with Indian agents, who wanted to kidnap him and again later, the idea was that he came to my apartment, I lured him, I forced him then he was honey trapped by a person or police he knows.”
“I think, so far they are changing the stories. Of course, I’m very shocked and speechless. I’m trying to understand why they want to bring me into this story. Why they use my name? What is really the idea from the beginning or was it a backup plan – option B that something didn’t work out. They think this story can be used since she was in the area?” she added.
Choksi also alleged that Barbara did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten up and placed on a small watercraft. He said the manner in which she conducted herself clearly pointed out that “she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap him”.
Barbara confirmed that she met Choksi over breakfast on the day when he was allegedly kidnapped but she left for the airport and was on the other side of the island on that day.
Barbara said, “You can call the restaurant. They can confirm that the last time I saw Mehul Choksi was on the 23rd morning. We went, we had a breakfast meeting, we had coffee and then we got back to the Jolly harbour area at 11:30 am or maximum 12 mid-day. After that we said good bye to each other, even though he was insisting, he was convincing me why don’t I extend my stay and stay longer. But I told him that I have business to do, I have to go to another island and I can’t just stick around all the time in Antigua. So, that was the last time we talked and since then even when I was in Europe our conversations and chats were more of weekly”.
Choksi and his lawyers have filed a complaint against Barbara for abduction and torture. They have also accused her of conniving with Indian origin men.
She out rightly rejected the allegations of any such connection. She said, “No not at all, I was asked questions earlier about two Indian guys on the boat. I don’t know those people and no one contacted me, there was no sign of any abduction or kidnapping and people who know Jolly harbour area really well, it is literally impossible to kidnap anyone there in the family area in the middle of Sunday daylight. As per me, why this isn’t got done at 7 pm when we do our walking and its dark and no one is on the beach or why didn’t happen in one year, plenty of time when we were driving down in motorway.”
The fugitive diamantaire, who has been in Dominica for around two weeks, is facing legal proceedings.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 and was caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank.
(Wtih ANI inputs)