Dominica has agreed for Mehul Choksi's repatriation to India, Antigua will not accept him back: PM Gaston Browne

Saint John's (Antigua)/New Delhi (India): Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who has been found in Dominica, will be repatriated to India and Indian authorities are in touch with those in Dominica.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Browne said Dominica has agreed Choksi's repatriation and Antigua will not accept him back.

Browne said he has requested PM Skerrit and law enforcement in Dominica to not return Choksi to Antigua where he has legal and constitutional protection as citizen.

"We've requested that he be detained and to make arrangements with Dominican govt to have him returned to India," he said.

Choksi is wanted by investigative agencies in India in the Rs 12,000 crore PNB scam on charges of fraud. He went missing on Sunday from Antigua and a manhunt was launched by the Antigua police.

"He was found in Dominica. He may have entered the island illegally, possibly by boats. Dominican government is cooperating with Antiguan and Indian governments. We have requested Dominican law enforcement agencies to not return him to Antigua where he has legal and constitutional rights as a citizen. We specifically requested them to have Indian law enforcement agencies to make necessary arrangements to have him returned directly to India," Browne told ANI.

"I am pretty sure. I am not aware that he is a citizen of Dominica and that he'd have enjoyed any constitutional protection, so on that basis it will be easy for Dominica to deport him," Browne said when asked if Choksi will be repatriated.

"Dominica has agreed (for Mehul Choksi's repatriation). We'll not accept him back. He made a monumental error by skipping island. Dominican govt and law enforcement are cooperating and we have informed Indian government to have him repatriated to India," he said.

Browne said Indian and Antiguan authorities are in touch with Dominican government.

"We have asked the Dominican Government to detain for entering their country illegally, to make him persona non grata, and have him deported directly to India," he said.

On late Wednesday, Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, confirmed his being found in Dominicia.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal