Gurjit Singh Bhandal and Gurmit Singh, two British nationals said to be involved in the alleged abduction of Mehul Choksi from Antigua and Barbuda on May 23, have claimed in an interview with a Caribbean website – Writeups24 – that they had no role in the fugitive’s disappearance.
The duo also denied knowing any Barbara Jarabica, a female friend of Choksi who he alleged was also behind his abduction.
Choksi, in his complaint filed before the Antiguan Royal Police force on June 3, has named one Gurmit Singh as one of his kidnappers. Bhandal and Gurmit Singh have also been named by Michael Polak, a lawyer assisting the Choksi family in the UK, in a complaint filed at British Police’s War Crimes Unit. Barbara Jarabica and another UK resident Gurdip Bath are also said to have been named in the lawyer’s complaint.
Bhandal told Writeups24 that he is of Indian origin and resides in Midlands, United Kingdom and doesn’t even remember when he last visited India while referring to his association with India or any Indian authority.
He added that he will cooperate with investigators in Antigua if contacted but they were yet to approach him.
Asked about their whereabouts on the day Mehul Choksi went missing, Bhandal told the website they were on English Harbour (Antigua) but left late morning for Dominica after clearing immigration. Bhandal further said their plan was to go to St Lucia from Dominica but he got seasick and they had to take a charter to Barbados directly.
They denied knowing about Mehul Choksi and anything about allegations levelled by him.
Asked why Choksi and his lawyers have specifically taken their name, the duo told Writeups24 — “On Monday morning when I was not feeling well, so I told them I would like to get out of the boat. Most of the customs and coast guards took our picture and came and started inspecting the boat asking questions. Maybe someone had shared out information with them since our boat was there.”
They added they are friends and often sail together in the Mediterranean but this time they decided to go to Caribbean.
Bhandal said he works in property purchasing while Gurmit Singh is retired.
Barbara Jarabica, in interviews with Indian TV channels, has also denied any role in abduction of Choksi.
Choksi has alleged that he was abducted by 8-10 people from Barbara’s house in Antigua on May 23 around 5:15 pm and brought to Dominica in a boat.
Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said they are conducting an investigation into the allegations of abduction.
Choksi is currently being treated in Dominica but is facing illegal entry charges in the country while the Indian government is pushing for his deportation directly to India.