Choksi's alleged girlfriend Barbara Jabarica denies role in his 'abduction'
Barbara Jabarica, the alleged girlfriend of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, has rubbished reports that she was involved in his recent purported abduction. Jabarica says she was Choksi's friend and had known him for around eight months, but was unaware about his criminal status. Choksi was reported missing in late May, an incident he claims to be a kidnapping.
'A lot of crazy Netflix-like stories going around'
"There are a lot of crazy Netflix-like stories going around in the news," Jabarica told News18 in an interview. She claimed she had briefly met Choksi the day he went missing, but did not see him post noon, adding it is unlikely for a kidnapping to take place during the day in that area. "Whoever came up with this story...this is impossible," she said.
Jabarica said she had met Choksi last August
In the interview, Jabarica said she had met Choksi, who introduced himself as Raj, in August last year. She added his wife, Priti Choksi, probably did not know about their friendship. "He really seemed like a good person and contact to know in the Caribbean. So that's how we had a good friendship," she was quoted as saying.
Jabarica believes Choksi wanted to go to Cuba
Jabarica believes Choksi's plan was to flee to Cuba. "He did ask me twice if I have ever been to Cuba, he also told me that next time we may meet in Cuba. He never explained the escape plan but I'm certain that Dominica is not ideal of his final destination," she told ANI in a separate interview.
Choksi was reported missing in Antigua on May 23
Choksi was reported missing in Antigua on May 23 and caught two days later in Dominica. Some reports suggested at the time that he was trying to flee to Cuba. His lawyers, however, have maintained that Choksi was honey-trapped, abducted, thrashed, and then forcibly brought to Dominica. They complained that Jabarica was part of that alleged plan.
Choksi will likely remain in Dominica through June
Recently, a court in Dominica refused bail to Choksi after he was accused of illegally entering the country. Meanwhile, another top court in the Caribbean has adjourned the deportation case against the fugitive. The next hearing is expected in July. A team of Indian officials that had flown down to Dominica to bring back Choksi has also since returned home.
What are the legal cases against Choksi?
Choksi and his nephew, Nirav Modi, are accused of siphoning off more than Rs. 13,000 crore in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, that had shocked the nation when it emerged in early 2018. Choksi is facing two cases in Antigua as well - revocation of his citizenship and extradition to India. Modi is currently jailed in London and contesting his extradition to India.