The accusations, which one must note are unsubstantiated, stem from the Mehul Choksi case. Mehul Choksi is a known Indian scamster, who has committed a bank fraud worth US $2 billion in his native nation, before fleeing to Antigua and Barbuda, becoming a citizen of the Caribbean island.
The “jewelry dealer” who has been hiding from Indian authorities, has tasked his lawyers with maligning Mr Bath’s name. According to the allegations, Mr Gurdip Bath is responsible for plotting to kidnap Choksi from Antigua, by employing a honeytrap.
Choksi has also claimed that a delegation from India made every attempt to finalize his extradition but was unable to do so as Choksi’s lawyers managed to find him detained in a cell. They then managed to secure the release of the fraudster with allegedly fabricated police report which was prepared with bribes to investigating police inspector. Choksi is now suing the Attorney General of Antigua and the Police Chief on grounds of callousness in investigating his alleged abduction.
The Antiguan authorities have supplied evidence which shows detailed steps taken by them to address the issue, hence asking the court to dismiss the claims altogether as there is no evidence of abduction.
Choksi, who is running out of options and is finding it hard to stay afloat has now taken to accusing the Indian Government of planning an extra judicial abduction.
In more ways than one, this is a case of a thief calling out the righteous, playing the victim through the entire process. Since moving to Antigua following the uncovering of his fraudulent activities in India, Choksi’s extradition has been a priority for the Indian Government which has pursued it through official channels.
It is also important to note that Mr. Bath is a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis and is known to also reside in the United Kingdom due to his role as commercial attaché to Britain. Both these countries had no involvement in the alleged abduction of Choksi, bringing his claims of a profound plot hatched by Gurdip Bath into question.
Hence, considering Mr. Choksi’s questionable past and history of fraud, it is not hard to imagine that he has reverted to his ways once more.
To defraud people of US$ 2 billion, escape to avoid legal proceedings and then level allegations against respected diplomats and the entire Indian administration requires a special kind of audacity, which Mr. Choksi clearly seems to possess.
Another fascinating aspect of this story is how the Daily Mail, a large journalistic organisation, has latched onto the words of a known fraudster, who has fled his country to avoid being prosecuted. Not just that but the organisation is now peddling his allegations as if they are gospel, a questionable act if there ever was one.
The story, which has apparently been written by Andy Jehring, is rife with claims from a known criminal and fugitive. The article also draws from allegations and affidavits submitted by Michael Polak, a UK-based lawyer who represents Choksi.
The article also misleads readers by opening with a headline that makes allegations against Mr Gurdip Bath, hinting at the ridiculous notion that the author is at higher authority than the court of law itself.
An important fact to remember, is that no significant evidence has been submitted in the court of law against Mr Gurdip Bath. Neither has any such evidence surfaced against Gurjit Bhandal, Gurmit Singh or Barbara Jarabik, the other names that the article has mentioned.
Mehul Choksi has been known to flirt with moral lines, both in his business practices, as well as his dealings with journalists in the past. Certain media houses and opposition members in both Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda have fallen to his bribes, making outrageous claims which they had to apologise for eventually.
When defamation claims were filed against these media houses, they back peddled and issued official apologies for malpractice but these instances have not been mentioned by the Daily Mail at all. Whether that is being done on purpose or is a case of willful ignorance is unclear, yet unforgivable either way.
One must not forget that reputed parties such as the Attorney General and the Police Department, which have been dragged into this case have presented their stance in court, refuting Choksi’s claims. Yet it is the fraudster who is getting his say via an article in his favour.
There have also been claims that Choksi has infiltrate major media houses and is getting them to write glowing pieces, painting him as a victim, which he is not by any means. He is also suspected of supplying large amounts of money through his PR company to get media houses to back him in such a manner.
The most amusing section of the article though, is where Choksi has been called a “jewel merchant” and not a fraudster who has escaped prosecutors in India with a mind boggling US $2 billion in his personal kitty.
It is a well known fact that Mehul Chowksi’s UK-based lawyer Michael Polak has submitted just an application to the National Crime Agency (NCA), seeking its involvement in the case. Having said that, bringing the NCA into this case is beyond the remit of Choksi and his representatives.
only way in which the NCA will assist in this case is if a request is issued by Antigua and Barbuda seeking the same.
With a lack of substantial evidence to pursue this case, Antiguan authorities have made it clear that there is no reason for them to follow through with Choksi’s demands or even take them too seriously. Especially since his claims don’t seem to collaborate with what they have been able to ascertain through on ground investigations.
Basis of Choksi’s claims
One must also consider the fact that in cases such as this, any individual can claim what ever his heart desires, yet it has to be backed by evidence to be taken seriously and pursued in court. This is where the Choksi’s case falls short, which is why there is very little merit to his claims, despite what his lawyers would have people believe.
There is also no evidence supporting the idea that the plot to kidnap Choksi was hatched in the United Kingdom.
Worst of all, Choksi’s UK-based lawyer, Michael Polak is known to have ties with anti-Indian entities in the country, having given a speech in which he claimed that Avatar Singh Khanda, an anti-India activist was poisoned by India. This claim was rubbished as the post-mortem report revealed that he died due to terminal blood cancer, as corroborated by the West-Midlands Police.
Polak has put his hypocrisy on display by stating, “To fail to accept these claims would allow Britain to be a haven for those accused of international criminal activity.”
He said so while also representing known international criminals such as Avtar Singh Khanda and Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
The article also states that flight manifests and evidence of the entry of Mr Gudip Bath and his alleged associates into Antigua and Barbuda have been obtained by Choksi’s lawyers. There has been a concerted effort to make this seem like incriminating evidence but the fact remains that none of the individuals mentioned have denied travelling to Antigua and Barbuda.
Most importantly, none of the individuals mentioned travelled simultaneously to Antigua and Barbuda, nor has any evidence of a coordinated plot between them surfaced as yet.
While the allegations and false claims continue to fly around, it is quite unlikely that Mehul Choksi and his posse of lawyers will manage to prove anything in court. At the end of the day, his claims seem to be nothing more than a diversion from the fact that he is a known criminal and fraudster who has used every loophole possible to avoid justice and continues to do so till date.
This article that has been pushed ceremoniously by the Daily Mail can be called out for its partiality, as no independent reports on the case have been mentioned including the one compiled by a renowned US-based financial crime consultant Kenneth Rijock.
It must be noted that there is also no mention of Inspector Adonis Henry, the main investigating officer in this case in Antigua and Barbuda. It has been alleged that Henry accepted enormous bribes from Mehul Choksi to fabricate the investigation report of his disappearance case from the country, aligning the report with Choksi’s narrative.