The Indian Fugitive Mehul Choksi finally succeeded in getting rid of Interpol’s Red Corner Notice. The announcement sparks light on the findings of international investigator Kenneth Rijock that labelled Choksi’s claims of abduction as an orchestrated narrative to get relief from Interpol.
Choksi, an Indian diamond merchant and a fugitive wanted for bank fraud, had been the subject of an Interpol Red Corner Notice since 2018. However, following a series of legal battles, Interpol has now removed Choksi’s name from the notice, signalling a significant development in the ongoing high-scale corruption by Mehul Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda.
Following the removal of the Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi’s name, many media channels reported that he can now travel freely. However, he does not possess any valid travel documents. Notably, Mehul Choksi’s Antigua and Barbuda passport expired on 15 November 2022. The Antigua and Barbuda government has already revoked his citizenship, and Choksi is fighting a case in a court. As the proceedings are still underway, his Antiguan passport cannot be renewed. Notably, in 2019 he surrendered his Indian passport to the Indian High Commission in Guyana, months after he took up citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.
In his report, Kenneth Rijock has detailed how Mehul Choksi masterminded his own kidnapping plot to evade arrest and prosecution for his alleged crimes. According to Rijock, Choksi’s claims of abduction were an orchestrated narrative designed to gain sympathy and divert attention away from his own culpability. Read Kenneth Rijock’s Report
In his comprehensive report, Rijock argues that Choksi carefully planned the events leading up to his disappearance, including his sudden disappearance from Antigua and subsequent arrival in Dominica. Choksi’s kidnapping claims, therefore, were nothing more than a ploy to create a false alibi for his flight from justice and somehow he successfully managed to evade legal consequences.
Furthermore, Rijock has also highlighted the significant role that heavy money flows played in enabling Choksi to obtain relief from Interpol.
Choksi’s financial resources, according to Rijock, allowed him to hire high-profile lawyers and lobbyists, who were able to use their connections and influence to sway international opinion in his favour.
Rijock argues that this is a common tactic used by wealthy individuals and corporations to evade legal consequences and that it underscores the need for stronger measures to combat financial crime and corruption. Subsequently, local media reported that Mehul Choksi bribed police and administration officials to influence police investigation report in his disappearance case, which ultimately supported him in the dismissal of the illegal entry case in Dominica and now the same report helped him get out of Interpol Red Corner Notice.
“As soon as Mehul Choksi came back to Antigua and Barbuda from Dominica for medical reasons, he used his political and official connections to make the whole thing look like a kidnapping. Mehul Choksi asked the investigating police officer, Inspector Adonis Henry, to make a fake report that didn’t include important investigations and had information that couldn’t be verified. He did this so he could pose as a victim and get the illegal entry case dropped and the Red Corner Notice from INTERPOL removed,” said Rijock in his investigative report.
Not only that, Rijock claims that Mehul Choksi had planned to go to Cuba with the help of his Jamaican transporters. To make his story a success, Rijock says that the fugitive planned the entire narrative of disappearance to further turn it into a kidnapping plot, all to escape the extradition and Interpol’s red corner notice dropped against himself.
Rijock said that Mehul Choksi was planning to go to Cuba and had told Jamaicans to help him get away from Antigua. The plans changed to kidnapping when he was on his way to Cuba. “He changed his route to Dominica when he heard about possible dangers at the first place,” added Rijock in his report.
“He hired a ship and its crew to take him to a safe house that had been set up in Cuba. During his trip, he didn’t pay for the smuggling boat, so he was dropped off on a beach in Dominica. When Choksi realised that his plan to escape backfired, he came up with a new one right away and used it to trick travellers into believing his story,” said Rijock.
Kenneth Rijock also named two more characters into the story, as per his investigations two Jamaicans namely Paul Stephen Emmanuel and Leonard Anthony Cole, flew to Antigua from Jamaica to meet Choksi and were involved in an escape of Mehul Choksi to Cuba.
Rijjock said that Jamaican transporters say that Choksi first asked them to transport him on May 24 2021. But later changed the date and said he needs to travel on the evening of May 23, 2021.
Additionally, Rijock stressed that according to a leaked police document accessed by him, Mehul Choksi fell from stairs and sustained minor injuries, which were later portrayed as torture by his kidnappers.
Kenneth Rijock also closely analysed the police statement. In his official statement, Mehul Choksi said that he went to the North Finger area of Jolly Harbour apartment where he was allegedly taken. But at the same time, the police report says that Cpl. Williams, the Duty SPO at Johnsons Point Police Station, searched the area and no vehicle was discovered. The research lasted for over two hours, and still, the officer could not find any proof. However a day after Cpl William’s investigations, Mr. Muhamad, a follow-up officer, said that Mehul Choksi’s car had been found in the North Finger area, outside of Jolly Harbour villa 407E&F.
Analysing the facts, Rijock stated that in the report, it says that the car was found in an area where Cpl. Williams had already checked a few hours earlier. Rijock believes that the entire scenario means that the car was put there after Cpl. Williams had already searched.
Kenneth Rijock stated that the car was part of a fabrication of evidence by someone who works for Mehul Choksi. He said it is also possibility the same person or people made up evidence at the apartment where Choksi says the kidnapping happened. The place was made to look as if a fight had happened, and all the signs of a crime were put there to make it look like a crime scene, says Rijock.
The American investigator also stressed that the fact that the investigating officer mentioned the Joanna Lucas vessel, which the fugitive diamond merchant might have used, but didn’t look into it was strange. David Giroux, the owner of a yacht, said that he saw a suspicious boat with people who looked strange. Rijock, while citing sources stated that Colin Thomas, a yacht owner who had seen the suspicious ship before on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, told them the name of the boat. He also questioned why the investigating officer didn’t talk to the yacht’s owner. The investigating officer also didn’t find out where the yacht was by following the captain’s cell phone through a cell tower. This also raises a lot of questions about how police officers should act.
Magistrate Conllife Clark is currently handling the case of Mehul Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda. Choksi is wanted in India for alleged financial fraud, and the Indian government has requested his extradition. Clark is in the process of determining if the extradition request is valid. Additionally, Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney is investigating Choksi‘s activities in Antigua and Barbuda. Rodney is gathering evidence to determine if Choksi is guilty of any crimes committed on the island nation. He is also looking into any connections between Choksi and any local figures. This investigation is separate from the extradition proceedings, and the results may have an impact on the outcome.