Local and Indian media outlets are reporting that Mehul Choksi has been detained in Dominica, and Government Spokesperson Lionel “Max” Hurst has confirmed he is being held by officials in that country.
The CIP citizen and fraud accused was reportedly apprehended by lawmen in Dominica last night, following a request to Interpol to issue a Yellow Notice alert.
While an earlier news item claimed that the Criminal Investigations Department in Dominica is making arrangements to hand Choksi over to the Police in Antigua, another media report says that Choksi is expected to be handed over to the Government of India directly.
This latter report was confirmed to REAL News by sources in India, who said that Prime Minister Gaston Browne had spoken to media representatives there.
Allegedly, Browne said that Dominica has been asked to detain the fugitive, declare him persona non grata, and deport him to his native country.
Hurst has since confirmed that the Antigua & Barbuda Government has verbally expressed its preference for how the Indian fugitive should be handled, but its position is not yet official.
Here, in Antigua, Choksi is facing extradition after being accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of billions. His nephew, Nirav Modi, accused in the same matter, is facing extradition from the United Kingdom.
Choksi has two matters before the local courts – one challenging his extradition and the other trying to stop the Government from revoking his CIP passport.
This latest chapter in his story follows confirmation, by the Police, that a Missing Person Report had been filed on Sunday, May 23, after Choksi had left his Jolly Harbour home earlier that evening.
Consequently, PM Browne said that Interpol and other regional agencies would be alerted and that local officials had been in touch with the Indian authorities.
Almost immediately after news of his disappearance broke, there were rumours that Choksi had fled to safety in Cuba. However, Browne dismissed that story, saying it was not likely he could have travelled that far by boat in 36 hours.