Priti Choksi, the wife of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi who is at the heart of an extradition attempt after his arrest in Dominica, has said the “mystery woman” with her husband was not the “femme fatale” being portrayed in media and often accompanied Choksi on walks at the beach.
In an exclusive interview to Business Standard, Priti Choksi said her husband left for dinner on the evening of May 23 but never returned. She said she called his consultant and a cook to trace his whereabouts at the beach where he usually went for walks but ultimately contacted the police when they failed to find him.
The businessman’s wife said she was “disturbed” that Choksi was taken around 5.30 pm on a boat and no one seems to have seen it. She also said his car, which was found at 7.30am the next morning was missing from the spot when the police initially patrolled the area at 3am.
When asked about Barbara Jabarika, the mystery woman who is alleged to have lured her husband into her house from where he claims he was kidnapped, Priti Choksi said she knew Jabarika had come to Antigua in August 2020 and “had walked in to our other house on the island and befriended the chef there”.
She also refuted claims that Jabarika was the “sexy femme fatale” being shown on TV. “She looks different. That’s not what she looks like. She may have a good body, whatever, whatever, but the thing is it’s not her,” she told Business Standard.
Priti Choksi said her husband had not left the island in three years owing to his poor health. She alleged that he wasn’t allowed to meet a lawyer or get medical attention and “was terrified that he would be killed”.
“The narrative being woven is that he absconded, and the first story, the Cuba story, pointed people in that direction. It was very ham-handed. My husband is no longer an Indian citizen as per Section 9 of the Indian constitution. In 2017, he ceased to be an Indian citizen. The safest place on earth for him is Antigua,” she added.
Mehul Choksi is likely to be presented before the court later today at 6:30pm Indian Standard Time where the Dominica High Court is likely to take a call on his deportation to India. Earlier on June 1, India along with Dominica Police submitted affidavits in Court with proof that Mehul Choksi was a fugitive who had escaped India. The affidavits also include Indian passport copy of Mehul Choksi which proves that he still is an Indian Citizen.