The United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling on the Browne Administration to come clean on the Police Report that confirms the abduction of Mehul Choksi in May 2021. It also warns that failure to break the silence will be construed as the Government having been complicit in the international crime.
In a press statement published Monday afternoon, May 30, the UPP registers its alarm at the “dead silence … of Prime Minister Browne, Minister of National Security Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, and Foreign Affairs Minister E.P. Chet Greene,” given that the official report was in their hands since June 2021.
It notes that “the Report, which is now in wide circulation, was the basis on which the Government of Dominica recently dropped charges of illegal entry against Mr. Choksi. However, it remains a shocking fact that, up to now, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has made no statement on this matter….”
After confirming that Choksi’s personal account of his abduction from Antigua was, indeed, true, the Police Report recommends that the investigation be extended to Dominica and St. Lucia, where critical parts of the plot were put in place.
It also recommends that the Government engage Interpol to locate the four primary suspects in the case.
“However, it appears that these recommendations have all been ignored,” the UPP’s statement says, “and the Party must ask why.
“Why would a responsible Administration choose not to further investigate an incident of international interest when our own Police have concluded that a citizen of this country was abducted and taken to Dominica – and beaten and tortured in the process?” the release asks.
It goes further: “Why have the independent Police – who, virtually every week, appeal for the public’s assistance in solving crime – chosen not to advise the same public that four visitors were able to execute a crime of such magnitude here?”
The UPP’s position on the matter is that “the deafening official silence on this matter must be broken and the record set straight.”
The Party says the Browne Administration must come clean “if the citizens and the residents … are to repose any confidence in the National Security Minister and the Police, and if visitors are to enjoy any sense of safety in Antigua and Barbuda.
“To do any less is to confirm the allegations that the Government was, indeed, complicit in these crimes,” the UPP says.
When news broke that Dominica was dropping charges against the Indian businessman, National Security Minister Benjamin told another media house the Police had not presented any official report to the Executive.
However, court records show that Benjamin, himself, signed off on the Report on which the Dominica authorities relied to drop its prosecution.
Further, as a matter of protocol, the Commissioner of Police is known to report every day to the Prime Minister on all major criminal happenings and investigations.