The Antigua & Barbuda citizenship of Mehul Choksi is alleged, by the Hindu Times of India, to have been revoked. And while some people are expressing delight at the news, others are asking whether it is a quid pro quo arrangement for the 40,000 vaccines received from the Government of India today, March 1.
The news article says that Choksi’s citizenship, which was obtained under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), was cancelled; however, he has mounted court challenges to prevent his extradition back to India.
Meanwhile, some residents are voicing suspicion over the gift. One man tells REAL News it is no coincidence that, just as we have received the vaccines, we are hearing news that Choksi’s citizenship has been cancelled. Accordingly, he says the situation appears to be rotten to the core.
Another man says it will be interesting to see how this plays out, since earlier reports stated that Choksi had renounced his Indian citizenship.
“What nationality is he now? Is he an Indian citizen since his Antiguan status has been revoked?” the man asks.
A local report alleges that Choksi and his wife were removed from their residence by Health authorities; but there has been no confirmation of this story.
However, a woman tells REAL News that she considers the Gaston Browne Administration to be very sneaky; hence, she would not be surprised by this development.
She believes the Government could very well have traded the Indian fugitive for the vaccines, since it is in a rush to get the population vaccinated and have things return to normal.
The woman notes, however, that she is happy Choksi no longer sports an Antigua and Barbuda passport, since, when he obtained it, he knew he was being investigated by the Indian authorities for fraud.
Choksi became a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018, barely a week after reportedly fleeing from India.
He is accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of funds amounting to US $2.1 billion, but claims the charges against him are politically motivated. He has also said he would not receive a fair trial in India, and therefore he is resisting extradition.
The Hindu Times article states that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India is optimistic that Choksi will lose his legal battle to remain in Antigua and Barbuda and be returned to his country of birth to stand trial.