Statement by Dominica’s main opposition the United Workers Party.
The presence of Indian born Antigua and Barbuda citizen Mehul Choksi in Dominica following allegations that he was kidnapped in Antigua, beaten, ferried to Dominica, and taken into the country against his will highlights once again the extent to which departments of government are involved in organized crime under the influence and/or direction of the regime of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
The Parliamentary Opposition calls for an immediate end to this reckless “No law, No
Constitution” governance conduct that disgraces Dominica as a rogue element in the family of nations and endangers the rule of law foundation for the advancement of civility in the global community.
Mehul Choksi, wanted in India on bank fraud charges, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering bought Antigua and Barbuda citizenship through the Citizenship by Investment Program in 2017. Choksi has been living in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018 and is opposing court action to revoke his Antigua and Barbuda citizenship and have him extradited to India.
With that matter pending in the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda, State actors under the
leadership of the Prime Minister of Dominica appear to be part of plot against the rule of law protection guaranteed to citizens that is effectively undermining the judiciary in the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court for the benefit of a foreign power.
The removal of Choksi from Antigua and Barbuda, (where according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, he enjoys the constitutional privileges of citizenship) to Dominica, was intended to facilitate his transfer to India without having to wait on the outcome of the ongoing extradition proceedings scheduled for hearing in November 2021. To that extent, Dominica has been conscripted to unlawfully violate the constitutional rights of an Antiguan citizen for crass political purposes.
The following facts of his transfer to Dominica are extremely disturbing, indicative as they are of the involvement of the government of Dominica in the abduction and smuggling of criminally accused economic citizens across international borders:
- The operators of the Vincentian registered, St Lucia based schooner on which Choksi
was transported to Dominica on May 23rd, 2021 declared three crew members and two
Indian passengers, not including Choksi, to the authorities on departure from Antigua
- Choksi arrived in Dominica with no passport and no personal belongings. The two Indian
passengers on the Schooner were taken into Covid 19 quarantine and Choksi who was
met by senior Police Officers when he came ashore was detained in a police cell and
then quarantined on May 28th, 2021 – five days later;
- On May 25th, 2021, the operators of the schooner made a false declaration to the
Dominica Customs Authority that they arrived in Dominica on May 25th, 2021 with three crew members and two passengers, not including Choksi. Notwithstanding the false declaration, the schooner was cleared by Customs to leave for St Lucia on the same day,
May 25th, 2021;
- After Choksi’s lawyers filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the Dominica High Court, Police
charged Choksi with illegal entry into Dominica;
- With Choksi in police custody in Dominica, Antigua, and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston
Browne asked Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to deport him to India and not to
Antigua and Barbuda. He subsequently confirmed that a private jet of Qatar Executive
Airlines arrived in Dominica on May 28th, 2021 from New Delhi with documents from the
Indian government indicating that Choksi is a fugitive from justice;
- The High Court Judge in Dominica placed a gag order on lawyers in the Habeas Corpus
matter preventing them from saying anything to the media until the conclusion of the
matter; and the airport staff have been instructed that taking pictures of the
Bombardier Global 5000 jet of Qatar Executive airlines is strictly prohibited.
The unusual and calculatedly discriminatory behavior of the Police that allowed them to take
Choksi into custody with no questions for the crew and passengers who brought him toDominica against his will seems to confirm that Police, Immigration and Customs Officials were
instructed by higher authorities in the Office of the Prime Minister and/or the Cabinet of
We demand a full investigation to ensure that justice is done in respect of:
▪ The obvious collaboration between the governments of Dominica, Antigua, and Barbuda
and India is undermining the judiciary in the Eastern Caribbean
▪ The Police, Immigration and Customs Officials who openly allowed violations of the law
to 1) facilitate the operators of St Lucia based schooner, and 2) detain Choksi on
allegations of illegal entry
▪ The Ministers of Government who instructed and/or influenced Police, Immigration and
Customs Officials unlawfully facilitate the inhumane transfer of Choksi to Dominica
We demand urgent remedial action to remove the stain from this unfortunate incident on the
image of Dominica and restore our country’s reputation as a responsible member of the family
of nations, diligently carrying out the rule of law responsibilities of international development.
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