A mission led by the Mauritian authorities in Europe last week confirmed that five million US dollars seized from former Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam passed through two German banks. It remains to determine who fired the money for him.
How could USD 5 million in notes of 100, or Rs 175.4 million from the current exchange rates, that were still in their original packaging be in the safes of Navin Ramgoolam? The Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) has some answers, since last week, thanks to a mission conducted in Europe alongside a handful of state officials.
It appears that this money was channeled through two German banks via Chicago and New York, at two distinct periods, before being sent to Mauritius. A large commercial bank would be responsible for receiving packages before transferring them discreetly to the Labour leader at Riverwalk. The exercise was conducted without the Bank of Mauritius and the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) being informed, hence the recent appeal to the Supreme Court so that banks disclose all foreign currency transactions for Navin Ramgoolam.
Under-the-table or gifts
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), invited to support the Mauritian authorities in the investigation shortly after the search at Navin Ramgoolam, has already submitted a report to the CCID. The document seems to have goaded during their research and the team of the assistant police commissioner, Heman Jangi will now determine who fired the sum to the benefit of the leader of PTr.
It is from there that investigators will assess whether Navin Ramgoolam touched the money under-the-table or has obtained donations, as he says, for the construction of a new headquarters for his party. Members of his entourage argue that this money is a donation from the US Democratic Party, but nothing has been confirmed so far in this direction.
The CCID should also explain how Navin Ramgoolam was spending his dollars and how he managed to get them out of the country. From that side, an investigation has been opened on currency transfers by former Mauritius Post and Cooperative Bank between January 2006 and March 2009 when it was headed by Rajiv Beeharry-Panray, considered a close friend to the former head of government.
No one would have learned their existence if the businessman Rakesh Gooljaury had not told the CCID that his former friend had asked him to lie to the police in Rivière du Rempart about the burglary committed at his bungalow in Roches-Noires on the night of 2 to 3 July 2011. When Navin Ramgoolam has been stopped for the first time on the 6th of February 2015, the CCID conducted a search until very late at his home on the basis of specific information as to the existence of a sum of over Rs 200 million.
A total of Rs 220 million, half of which in foreign currency was seized in two safes and two suitcases. The amount may be revised upwards because the exchange rate has not been taken into account when counting was done at the central Barracks. On 1 May, Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth revealed that the raid on the night of 6 to 7 February 2015, has been badly managed as safes had been left behind … In the central barracks, it is claimed that it is rather a suitcase suspected of containing money and credit cards that have been “forgotten” under a bed.
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