More revelations by wikileaks : Drugs, ICAC, Corruption and Customs
Few months ago, Mauritius was shaken by the inside informations transmitted regarding the Diego Garcia island. These highly confidential information published by Wikileaks have not only change the way governments look upon the world super powers but they have also disclosed thousands of classified data exchanged between embassies around the world.
Extracts below have been copied from http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08PORTLOUIS205&q=icac :
Recent allegations and press reports on corruption scandals in Mauritius highlight an often overlooked issue by those new to or unfamiliar with the island. Upon first impression, Mauritius may look relatively clean, but with some digging – one may find questionable dealings under the surface. Despite the founding of Mauritius’ Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 2002, the country still suffers from a pervasive and ingrained problem.
To summarise a few points recently released :
- Bert C. Cunningham is frustrated in his efforts to bring to justice corrupt officials in his own department; he suspects deeply-rooted corruption in high levels of the government; and last but not least – he received death threats against him. Consequently, Cunningham sent his family back to Canada in an effort to protect them
- Cunningham stated that, during a meeting on April 11, 2008, with government officials, including the Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ali Mansoor, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Khemraj Servansing, he was told in no uncertain terms that he should remain quiet about the alleged corruption because if it were to become public, it could bring down the current government of Mauritius. Cunningham noted that he felt warned or even threatened during the meeting
- During a highly suspicious cargo inspection operation, Cunningham believes the immigration police attempted to prevent the customs officers from inspecting the cargo because the police planned to “deport” the women and keep the drugs as part of an organized smuggling operation.
- In a drug case in Rodrigues, Cunningham said that the police beat the male smuggler to death that evening while in custody. (Comment: To date, there has been no press report of this incident. End Comment.)
Cunningham indicated the female police officer (who made the male smuggler go through airport customs without any checks) has not been charged with any crime and said he is being prevented from firing her. […[ Cunningham feels that the smuggler was murdered to keep the corruption ring under wraps, but also surmised that the cover up may have been done to prevent the disclosure of the death in police custody.
- In a related cigarette smuggling case, a customs informant who was about to provide evidence was found dead – hanging in his hotel room. According to Cunningham, this was an “assisted suicide.”
- After the death of the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) chief Prem Raddhoa, a very large sum of cash was reportedly found in Raddhoa’s police locker when it was cleaned out after his death. This led to a larger investigation into the activities of the MCIT and to reports that suggest that MCIT officers took “protection” money from “businessmen, bookmakers and others.”
- A police officer at the Passport and Immigration Office airport division and previous graduate of a U.S. International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) course in detecting fraudulent documents held in Gaborone, was arrested for facilitating an alien smuggling ring.
- Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam silenced all calls for a special investigation into the MCIT “protection money” during a November 27, 2007, parliamentary session. Ramgoolam stated that the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), founded in 2002 as a result of the Prevention of Corruption Act, has wide ranging powers including access to bank accounts following a judge’s order. (Note: Post suspects that many in the government feel that the ICAC, despite it’s name, is not independent at all. Many government officials cite that ICAC officers are all appointed by and owe their careers and loyalty to the Prime Minister’s Office. End Note.)
- Post believes that corruption is a problem in Mauritian society that is overlooked by a number of private businesses, NGO’s and Government agencies. Cunningham’s allegations, although startling, seem to be backed up by other entities, and may be only the tip of the iceberg.
To reassure myself, I tried a search on my name, no results… not yet 🙂
Please spread the news!
No, not about my name results but rather about the leaks!