|Mehul Choksi, Antigua's "Jabba the Hutt"|
Last August, the Government of India notified Antigua & Barbuda that Mehul Choksi, an Indian fraudster who had cheated one of the country's biggest bank out of millions, was wanted for multiple crimes, and requested his extradition, as a fellow Commonwealth of Nations member.
Here is what the Government of Antigua's response has been to date:
(1) Sent its Director of Public Prosecutions, Anthony Armstrong, the most senior law enforcement official after the Attorney General, and the individual in charge of extradition, packing on a 30-day vacation, which insured that no action would be taken during that period.
(2) Held several meeting with visiting officials from India, telling them each time that the matter was under legal consultations among local law enforcement, when no such action was under consideration.
(3) Arrogantly told the local press that, since India has revoked Choksi's passport, for his violation of his country's prohibition on dual citizenship acquisition, that he would be stateless, if Antigua revoked his CBI passport.
(4) Insured that Choksi engaged one of the attorneys that represents disgraced former government banking regulator, Leroy King, who has evaded extradition to the United States for eleven years.
(5) Buy into Choksi's fable about how his excessive weight, and poor health, bars a long flight to India to face the music. Meanwhile, he is free to stuff himself in Antigua's restaurants, with no ill effects.
Now, we learn that the Director of Public Prosecutions has still NOT initiated any extradition proceeding in Antigua. Six months after he was allegedly engaged in intense consultations with Antigua's government attorneys, he has done absolutely nothing, as he follows the orders of the most senior officials in Antigua who now say that, if Choksi is extradited, which will be within one year of obtaining his CBI passport, that Antigua will lose revenue because other potential "investors" will fear that their CBI passports are subject to revocation, and stop coming to Antigua. That is the true reason why Choksi remains in Antigua, and will remain there, immune from the long arm of Indian justice.
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