Mehul Choksi’s lawyers have filed an official complaint in Antigua and Barbuda over his alleged kidnapping. Choksi, who fled India just before he was named along with his nephew Nirav Modi in the Rs. 13,000 crore PNB scam by the CBI, had been staying in Antigua and before went missing on May 23. He was arrested in the neighbouring Dominica on May 25 for illegally entering the country.
The Mehul Choksi connection
After Choksi was arrested in Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne confirmed that Choksi was indeed arrested in Dominica after he left to “have a good time” “with his girlfriend” and made a “monumental error” in the process.
The girlfriend in question had been identified as a Bulgarian woman named Barbara Jarabica by the Antiguan media. According to Vijay Agaarwal, Choksi’s lawyer, Jarabica had befriended Choksi on morning walks in the past 5-6 months. The lawyer also alleged that the mysterious Bulgarian woman had then helped in Choksi’s abduction to Dominica.
Aggarwal and Choksi’s wife, Preeti, also alleged that the woman was part of an Indian operation to bring Choksi to Dominica and then to India.
“She is not from Antigua but would visit off and on. She has made these visits in August last year and in April and May this year. Briefly, she also lived in an apartment right across ours in Antigua. She described herself as working in the field of property renovation. After my husband’s abduction, though, she has just disappeared. If she was not involved in the abduction, she would have reported the incident to Antiguan authorities. She would have come out in the open,” Indian Express quoted Priti as saying.
Priti had even told WION that the “picture that is run of this person called Barbara is not even correct picture. Where is she, no one knows. If a crime occurred, and she saw it why has she not said anything. No one knows"
What we know about Barbara Jarabica
Very little concrete information is available on Jarabica. Pictures of social media accounts with name “babarajarabica” and similar were found and shared on Caribbean media. Her LinkedIn profile says she is a “Property Investment Agent” from Bulgaria who is an “Experienced Sales Negotiator with a demonstrated history of working in Direct Sales and the Real Estate Industry. Skilled in Customer Service, Sales Negotiations, Leadership and Team Coordination. Over 10 years Sales Experience, achieving Management positions in Property and Retail.”
Her profile also stated that she had studied at the London School of Economics. However, after the LSE issued a statement that no such student had ever studied there, the details were deleted along with the profile picture from the LinkedIn account.
Barbara’s other social media accounts are similarly strange in their activity history. Her Twitter account has only one tweet even though the account was made in July 2012. She follows seven popular Twitter accounts like those of Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Her account was followed by 11 people, 10 of whom are Indians, all of whom have little to no followers themselves.
Her Instagram account has seven pictures, most of them posted from January and February 2019 in Budapest. Most of her 1,300 followers are Indians and people of Indian origins as well.