By Sushil Batra ;
Choksi claimed that he was attacked when he was on his way to meet his woman friend named Barbara Jabarica. Choksi also alleged that Jabarica did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten up and placed on a small watercraft
ST. JOHNS (Antigua), IN HIS recent complaint to the Antiguan Police Commissioner, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi claimed that he was attacked by eight to 10 men while he was on his way to meet a woman named Barbara Jabarica, with whom he claimed to have ‘friendly terms’. Choksi also alleged that Jabarica did not attempt to help him while he was being beaten up and placed on a small watercraft. He said the manner in which Jabarica conducted herself clearly pointed out that “she was an integral part of this entire scheme to kidnap him”. In his complaint, Choksi said: “Over the past year, I have come to be on friendly terms with Barbara Jabarica. She used to originally reside opposite my residential complex in Jolly Harbour but later shifted to the Coco Bay Hotel.
She was on friendly terms with my staff and we used to meet and interact regularly, often going for walks in the evenings.” “On May 23, she requested that we deviate from our normal schedule of meeting in a public place directly, and asked me to pick her up at her house, which is located on the road next to the Marina. Upon her request, I reached her house at 5-5:15 pm where she invited me in and indicated that she wanted to finish her wine, saying that we will step out in a few minutes,” he added. The fugitive businessman further said that during his conversation with Jabarica, around eight to 10 heavily muscled men appeared from all entrances and brutally beat him. He claimed that they used tasers on his face, hands and exposed skin causing burns, bruises and immense pain, while they also took his cell phone, Rolex watch and wallet. “They placed me on a wheelchair and I was in an almost comatose state. I was unable to resist when they tied my hands, legs and body to the wheelchair.
A gag was placed in my mouth, obstructing my airways, causing me to gasp for air. They continued their onslaught and placed a mask on my head so my vision was also obscured,” he claimed in his complaint. “From the small watercraft, I was shifted to a much larger boat where they removed my mask. I realised we could not possibly be going to St. John’s Police Station, as there was no need to utilise a boat to go there. Upon my asking where I was being taken, they gave very evasive answers and ordered me in a threatening manner to remain silent or to face further consequences. They even threatened me at knifepoint after which I remained silent as it would have been useless to struggle against my captors,” he said. He said that there appeared to be two Indians on board and three persons of Caribbean descent. Choksi said, he was made to speak to a man who identified himself as Narinder Singh and said he was the chief agent in charge of his case.
“I was told that I was brought to this location to give an interview to a high ranking “Indian politician”. He also told me that my citizenship would be “fixed” in Dominica and that I would soon be repatriated to India,” he claimed.Choksi was accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank scam in India. Earlier, he disclosed the names of his alleged abductors to Antiguan police. Antigua police have commenced an investigation into his possible abduction. Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that Choksi’s lawyers wrote to the Police Commissioner providing the names of people he believes abducted him.