The riddle in the Mehul mystery: who is ‘Babara’?

Since a mysterious woman called Babara Jarabica first surfaced in the Mehul Choksi saga, the riddle as to who she is has only deepened.

In the very first references to such a woman being involved in the diamantaire’s disappearance from his adopted country Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Brown called her Choksi’s girlfriend with whom he had willingly travelled to Dominica, “to have a good time”.

Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal and his wife Priti have, however, claimed Jarabica was part of an Indian operation, as part of which the jeweller, who is wanted in India, was “abducted” from Antigua and taken to Dominica. The Indian government has admitted trying to get Choksi back from Dominica.

Priti, who told The Indian Express she had never met Jarabica despite her living opposite their Antigua home for a while, has also claimed that the woman whose photographs have appeared in the media isn’t the same one who “trapped” Choksi.

From the Indian security establishment, there has been no confirmation or denial of the existence of such a woman.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Priti Choksi said Jarabica had struck a friendship with her husband over the past six months during morning walks. According to Priti, they became friends during Jarabica’s “visits off and on” to Antigua. “Briefly, she also lived in an apartment right across ours in Antigua. She described herself as working in the field of property renovation.”

On May 23, Priti said, Jarabica called Choksi over for dinner to an apartment near Jolly Harbour in Antigua. The same night, the jeweller went missing, surfacing the next day in Dominica, with a swollen eye and bruises.

Pointing out that Jarabica had “disappeared” simultaneously, Priti said, “If she was not involved in the abduction, she would have reported the incident to the Antiguan authorities.” She also wondered if Jarabica was even her real name.

The photos that have appeared are from the Instagram account ‘babarajarabica’. Similar profiles have been found on Twitter and Linkedin under user names ‘Babara Jarabica’ and ‘Babara J’ respectively.

The Linkedin profile describes ‘Babara J’ as a ‘Property Investment Agent’ from Bulgaria. It adds, ‘Experienced Sales Negotiator with a demonstrated history of working in Direct Sales and the Real Estate Industry. Skilled in Customer Service, Sales Negotiations, Leadership and Team Coordination. Over 10 years Sales Experience, achieving Management positions in Property and Retail’.

Earlier the profile also mentioned that she had graduated from the London School of Economics. Now though, the profile doesn’t have either a photo or mention her LSE credentials. “What does it all say?” Priti said.

The ‘Babara Jarabica’ Twitter profile says she joined the social media site in July 2012. Till date, she has posted just one tweet: an article from about a blockchain company buying a piece of Banksy artwork and burning it.

She follows seven people on Twitter and is followed by 11 people. All, barring one, are Indians and have very few to no followers.

The ‘babarajarabica’ Instagram account is as bare, with just seven posts: of her at the beach, or riding a helicopter or a yacht. Some of these pictures were posted in January-February 2019 from Budapest.

Her over 1,300 followers here are again either Indians or of Indian origin. A large number of them are from Gujarat. Many of the likes are four-five days old, from the time of the latest turn in the Choksi saga.

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