Mehul Choksi Dominica Court: Mehul Choksi, who appeared before the magistrate court in a wheelchair during a blue T-shirt and black shorts, pleaded acquitted for the alleged crimes before the court and submitted he was allegedly kidnapped into the Island.
A Dominican court today denied bail to Mehul Choksi – the fugitive diamond trader wanted over the ₹ 13,500 crore loan fraud case in India – for illegally getting into the Caribbean Island nation from Antigua.
Choksi, who appeared before the magistrate court in a wheelchair during a blue T-shirt and black shorts, pleaded acquitted for the alleged crimes before the court and submitted he was allegedly kidnapped into the Island.
“Various non-nationals in Dominica are on bail for similar matters, so we are of the view that bail is often granted to our client. Let stringent conditions be added to the bail condition, including a bail sum of $ 10,000 double the utmost penalty, for illegal entry,” Choksi’s lawyer argued in court.
The Dominican government contended that bail shouldn’t be granted to Choksi as he’s a flight risk.
“Choksi has no ties in Dominica hence it might serve him no purpose to not flee the island if bail is granted. Choksi has an Interpol International Wanted Notice against him as he’s facing charges for 11 offenses in India,” submitted Dominica countering the arguments of Choksi’s lawyers.
After hearing each side , the Magistrate rejected the bail plea of Choksi.
“Given the severity of the matter, i’m not convinced to grant bail,” Magistrate Candia Carrette-George ruled.
The diamantaire, who mysteriously went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he had been staying since 2018 as a citizen, was detained in neighboring Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade together with his rumored girlfriend.
Last week, the govt of Dominica had issued a press statement that it had been verifying the status of Mehul Choksi’s citizenship with Antigua and Barbuda.
A CBI team has jetted to Dominica to bring Mehul Choksi to India if the court there clears his deportation.
Mehul Choksi’s arrest has created turbulence within the calm political waters of the neighboring Caribbean Island countries – Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica – where allegations are leveled against opposition parties supporting the businessman.
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning ₹ 13,500 crores of public money from the state-run Punjab commercial bank (PNB) using letters of undertaking.
While Nirav Modi is in a London prison after being repeatedly denied bail and is contesting his extradition to India, Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment program before fleeing India within the first week of January 2018.