The Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) says he does not believe the Prime Minister’s claim that he never met the Indian diamantaire, Mehul Choksi, who has found himself in legal trouble in Dominica.
Last month, while accusing the UPP of receiving election funding from Choksi, PM Gaston Browne declared that he had never met the man – even though there are reliable reports to the contrary.
Harold Lovell confirms that he received intelligence about Choksi being at the Prime Minister’s Office about three years ago.
Lovell also recalls that, when the UPP voiced concerns about Choksi’s alleged legal issues in India, it was PM Browne who came out defending him.
And, at one time, the UPP Leader says, the Indian businessman also had a police escort as he traveled around the island.
In Lovell’s opinion, the manner and speed with which Choksi was granted Antigua & Barbuda citizenship were suspect.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas has defended the granting of citizenship to Choksi, arguing that he had not been flagged in India or by Interpol at that time.
But Lovell charges that proper due diligence – to obtain as much information about the businessman as possible – was not carried out.