Mehul Choksi wins Antiguan court ruling, claims Indian intelligence planned to kidnap himtext_fields
Indian-born businessman Mehul Choksi has won a court case at the high court of Antigua and Barbuda over an alleged conspiracy to kidnap him. If the case goes to trial, secret service operations may come under scrutiny.
The 64-year-old is seeking admission from the Antiguan police that they failed to properly look into the alleged crime. He also wants the department to launch another "speedy and effective" investigation.
The fugitive businessman alleged that a UK-based group was part of a plot designed by the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign intelligence agency, to lure him to a Caribbean villa in Dominica to be kidnapped and extradited to India. The incident took place in May 2021.
Choksi's lawyers argued that he was subjected to "inhuman or degrading treatment" after being allegedly kidnapped in Antigua. He also claimed that the elaborate plot was carefully prepared in collusion with India. The high court of Antigua and Barbuda said that the fugitive businessman has an "arguable" case in relation to the civil claim against the country’s attorney general and chief of police, reported The Guardian.
Antigua’s attorney general and police commissioner want the case to be struck out as "vexatious". The high court has ordered them to file a defence and awarded Choksi 75% of the costs.
Choksi is wanted for fraud and money laundering charges in India. In May 2021, he was invited to a villa near his luxury home in the Antiguan resort by a 33-year-old woman. When he arrived, he was surrounded by a group of men and they physically assaulted him. He was also gagged, forced into a wheelchair, and taken to a yacht that set sail to Dominica.
"The evidence that Choksi was kidnapped from Antigua and tortured during his unlawful rendition to Dominica is clear. It has been a long road to get to this point, and we continue to fight to secure justice for Choksi," said British barrister Michael Polak who is representing Choksi.