Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who had been moved to the government quarantine facility in Dominica, has tested negative for COVID-19. He is now warded at the Imray Wade of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital under heavy police security in a private room. As per media reports, Choksi is only allowed to be visited by his lawyers.
In discussions with his lawyers, Choksi claimed that he was abducted at Jolly’s Bay in Antigua by Indian and Antiguan men and taken on a boat to an undisclosed location. He said that he was beaten in the process.
On Saturday, pictures of Choksi released by Antigua Newsroom showed him behind bars and with injuries on his hands and a swollen and bruised left eye. These were the first public pictures of Choksi, who had reportedly gone missing on Sunday (May 23) evening. He was later apprehended by Dominica Police on Wednesday and had been in their custody since then.
As per the court order, he was medically examined at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital and also had to undergo the COVID-19 test. His matter will be heard by the court on Wednesday, June 3, 2021. The court has also ordered that will remain in Dominica until the court says otherwise.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), using letters of undertaking. While Modi is in a London prison after repeated denial of bail and is contesting extradition to India, Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme, before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently. Both are facing a CBI probe.