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'I May Be Kidnapped Again and Taken to Guyana': Fugitive Diamantaire Mehul Choksi

Choksi was granted bail by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in July 2021 to travel to Antigua and Barbuda to receive treatment for his neurological ailments. (Image: PTI/File)

Choksi was granted bail by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in July 2021 to travel to Antigua and Barbuda to receive treatment for his neurological ailments. (Image: PTI/File)

Choksi added that he is currently getting help for the 'disastrous state of mental health' and claimed to be consumed by fear, and numbed by the events of the past months.

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi is afraid that he may get kidnapped again and taken to Guyana, from where he is likely to be taken away in an unlawful and illegal manner.

According to an ANI report, Choksi said, “I may be coerced and kidnapped once again, and taken to Guyana, where there is a strong Indian presence, which may be utilized to spirit me away in an unlawful and illegal manner. I am currently confined to the limits of my house in Antigua, my poor health doesn’t allow me to move anywhere else, and the traumatizing experience I suffered at the hands of my Indian captors led to irreversible degradation."

Choksi added that he is currently getting help for the ‘disastrous state of mental health’ and claimed to be consumed by fear, and numbed by the events of the past months. “I am unable to step outside my house despite my doctors’ recommendations and I seek to avoid the limelight at all costs now," the ANI report further quoted him saying.

Earlier this month, Choksi had moved the Bombay High Court saying he will be unable to travel, so as to keep in abeyance fugitive proceedings against him by the Enforcement Directorate, which is seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender.

According to a report by Bar and Bench, Choksi has claimed that he was granted medical bail by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court so that he could travel to Antigua and Barbuda for treatment and, hence, it could not be said he was refusing to come back to India.

Choksi was granted bail by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in July 2021 to travel to Antigua and Barbuda to receive treatment for his neurological ailments.

The diamantaire is accused in the PNB fraud case worth Rs 14,500 crore. He had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen after he fled Delhi. He was detained in the neighbouring island country, Dominica, for alleged illegal entry. His lawyers claimed that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen, who looked like Antiguan and Indian, and then brought to Dominica on a boat.

Appearing for Choksi before the Bombay HC on Thursday, advocates Vijay Aggarwal with Ayush Jindal said according to Choksi’s present application, he was allowed to be treated in Antigua and Barbuda. He would be required to return to Dominica to face charges only after he was declared medically fit to do so.

The report in Bar and Bench quoted the lawyers as saying the facts showed that it could not be said Choksi was “refusing to return to India to face criminal prosecution", and that he could not be declared as “fugitive accused" as he had left the country much before any case was registered against him.

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first published:November 29, 2021, 09:55 IST