Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mauritian Whistle-Blower Drops Claims Against Attorney General

Mauritian Whistle-Blower Drops Claims Against Attorney General
(Bloomberg 09/25/17)
Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo

A Mauritian whistle-blower withdrew allegations of money laundering that forced Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo to step down this month.

Husein Abdool Rahim, who made the allegations earlier in September, said he’d been pressured by Port Louis-based newspaper l’Express and former Financial Services Minister Roshi Badhain into making claims that Yerrigadoo helped set up a financial structure to enable the transfer of gambling winnings to bank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland. He said he’s subsequently filed a complaint against l’Express and Badhain.

“Certain points of the sworn affidavit are false, specifically those relating to money laundering,” Rahim said in remarks broadcast Sept. 22 on Radio Plus, a Port Louis-based broadcaster. “L’Express and Roshi Bhadain manipulated me. They only wanted the head of Ravi Yerrigadoo.”

Perceptions of corruption in Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation that’s positioning itself as a financial gateway to Africa, have deteriorated over the past five years, according to anti-graft agency Transparency International. Yerrigadoo is the second member of Mauritius’s cabinet to step down since 2016 amid claims of impropriety, while in June the Supreme Court granted permission to the state prosecutor to challenge Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth’s acquittal in a corruption case last year.

L’Express Director of Publications Nad Sivaramen’s mobile phone was switched off when Bloomberg called him seeking comment. In a statement broadcast on Port Louis-based Radio One on Monday, Sivaramen said “we are serene but we were shocked by the police’s way of doing things.”

Bhadain’s phone was switched off when Bloomberg sought comment.

Yerrigadoo quit on Sept. 13 after Jugnauth ordered an investigation into the money-laundering allegations and said Yerrigadoo will be reappointed in the event that he’s cleared. Yerrigadoo filed a complaint with the police on Sept. 22 alleging that there’s been a plot against him, Mauritian newspaper Le Defi reported. Read more at:https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-25/mauritian-whistle-blo...

By Kervin Victor

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