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'Boat Arranged, House on Rent': Is Mehul Choksi Planning to Flee Dominica?

File photo of Mehul Choksi. (PTI)

File photo of Mehul Choksi. (PTI)

Shalloum is the close aide of the person who was spotted walking with Mehul Choksi days before he went missing from Antigua and Barbuda .

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi is planning to evade from Dominica as his Syria-born Antiguan close aide Hani Salloum is believed to have arranged a boat to take him to an unknown location, sources told CNN-News18. After he was reported “missing" on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, PNB scam accused Choksi was later detained by Dominican government for illegal entry into the island country.

According to some sources, it is suspected that Salloum, who has already arrived in Dominica, has met Choksi’s brother Chetan Choksi to plan a safe passage of the absconding businessman to an unknown location. The sources further shared that Salloum owns a transportation business in Antigua and Barbuda and residing there for last several years.

Shalloum is the close aide of the person who was spotted walking with Mehul Choksi days before he went missing from Antigua and Barbuda and was shown on CNN-News18.

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Moreover, Choksi has now hinted at another conspiracy by “renting a three-bedroom house" in Checkhall to back his bail plea in the High Court of Dominica. It is believed that he has also got into an agreement with the landlord Clifton Shillingford and agreed to pay an EC $6,000 rent for each month and an additional security deposit of EC $6,000. The rent agreement shows two tenants which are Mehul C. Choksi and his cousin brother Chetan C. Choksi which is beginning from July 1, 2021 and ending on September 30, 2021.

Few days back, CNN-News18 accessed pictures of Choksi with his agent, who purportedly helped him escape from Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua police sources told CNN-News18 that efforts are on to identify the man.

According to the initial probe, the man was attempting to take Choksi to Cuba through the sea route, but the plan was foiled after he was nabbed in Dominica.

Govin, Choksi’s close friend in Antigua, has exposed his plan to leave Antigua and settle in a safehouse in Cuba. Govin has revealed that the fugitive diamantaire holds another citizenship of a Caribbean country, apart from Antigua and Barbuda, police sources said.

Indian intelligence sources had told CNN-News18 that Choksi made up his kidnapping story as he knew about the Antigua government’s commitment to send him back to India.

Chetan Choksi’s lawyer has now denied the allegations. In a communication addressed to News18 on July 8, he wrote, “My client has neither the intention nor has any plan to make any such alleged arrangements for any member to flee Dominica or obstruct justice in any case. Any accusation of being involved in a criminal conspiracy to flee from Dominica is strictly rebuffed."

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before a multi-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank rocked the Indian banking industry. The duo allegedly bribed officials of the state-run bank to get Letters of Undertaking (LoU) based on which they availed loans from overseas banks that remained unpaid.

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