After reports appeared accusing Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne of being involved in the abduction of fugitive financier Mehul Choksi, Browne declared on Monday that he had no knowledge of the purported kidnapping.
“Let me state here that even though Choksi’s citizenship was unsettled, we respected his legal and constitutional rights as a citizen, and we did nothing to abridge those rights whilst he was on Antiguan and Barbudan soil,” Browne said, a press house reported recently.
Last Sunday, the Indian businessman abruptly vanished from Antigua and Barbuda, only to be apprehended by Dominican authorities on Tuesday night on suspicion of illegally entering the island. Last Monday, Choksi and his lawyers claimed he was kidnapped and transferred to Dominica without his will. Vijay Aggarwal, the businessman’s lawyer, alleged that the guy had been honey-trapped by a woman he had known for six months on Monday. He had gone to her house when he was kidnapped and carried to Dominica on a yacht.
Choksi is accused of stealing money of over Rs 13,500 crore from the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in India. In November 2017, he became a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda through the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), only weeks before the Central Bureau of Probe (CBI) began its investigation into the PNB fraud.