Prime PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi was caught by Dominican police as he tried to escape to Cuba, which does not have an extradition treaty with India. Here's a quick look at the fugitive's graph.
Fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi was planning to visit Cuba and Dominica was not his final destination, his alleged friend Barbara Jabarica has reportedly said. She has apparently clarified that she is not Choksi's "girlfriend", nor is he her "sugar daddy", according to an ANI report. She also claimed that she knew him by the name of 'Raj' and not Mehul Choksi.
Jabarica told the news agency that she had no information about his alleged escape plan even though he enquired about Cuba. "He (Mehul Choksi) never used a word like an escape. But he did ask me twice if I have ever been to Cuba. He also told me that next time we may meet in Cuba. He never explained his escaping plan but I'm certain, I don't think that Dominica was his final destination. But if you ask my opinion, I can be more and more certain that Cuba could have been his (Mehul Choksi) final destination and somehow he wanted to stop by in Dominica maybe," she was quoted as saying.
Jabarica said that she had met Choksi in Jolly Harbour in August last year and has known him since and the two started having weekly conversations from April this year. "I know him
On reports suggesting that Jabarica is Choksi's girlfriend, she said, "I would like to clarify, I made this clear in a few interviews that I was not his girlfriend and he's not my sugar daddy or anything like that. I have my own income and business. I do not need his cash or support, hotel booking, fake jewellery or anything like that."
She also denied knowing his real name and asserted that many people in Antigua would not know his background. "I'm a European, I live in Europe and I am not followings Indian news. I am also not following the list of fraudsters so I have not been aware of his real name and background until last week and I believe most people in Antigua...I don't think anyone knew his name or background," she told ANI.
Moreover, Jabarica slammed rumours linking her to a spy network and reports claiming that she was in contact with some Indians. She said, "No one contacted me. There was no sign of abduction and I said in other interviews, for people who know Jolly Harbour area, it's impossible to kidnap anyone there, in the safest place, a family area."
Meanwhile, the Dominica High Court adjourned the bail hearing of Choksi until June 11, local media reports stated. Choksi had approached the high court after the magistrate rejected his bail petition.
Choksi had gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he has been residing since 2018. He was detained in the neighbouring island country of Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.
His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguan or Indian-origin and was brought to Dominica on a boat. The businessman was also brought before a Roseau magistrate on the orders of High Court judge Bernie Stephenson, hearing the habeas corpus matter, to answer charges of illegal entry where he pleaded not guilty, but was denied bail.