The arrest of the three men - Joomun Boolaky, Hossen Ramtoolah and Raaez Salauroo – in Pétrin has, as expected, allowed the police to shed some light on at least one hold-up. The three people detained by the police confessed they were responsible for the hold-up at the Bijoulux jeweller’s shop in Port-Louis where Rs 785,000 was taken in 2005. These arrests have also led to the arrest of two other men involved in the hold-up as well as the questioning of a minister’s adviser and the latter’s brother.
Ten days ago, the police stopped a Honda Civic in the region of Pétrin. As they were doing a search in the car, they found a pair of handcuffs, walkie-talkies, tear gas spray and number plates. After saying they did not know these dangerous objects were in the car, the occupants finally admitted their involvement in the hold-up at the jeweller’s shop.
The name of Cehl Meeah came up, as he was said to be the one who rented the car. Being in Saudi Arabia for the moment, the latter said he did not mind being questioned by the police as long as it was not by Prem Raddhoa’s team. He said he had been tortured by the same team in 2001 when he was arrested in the “death squadron” case. He was also adamant that he had “absolutely nothing to do with all the allegations. I am being harassed by Prem Raddhoa. I have never rented any car or given any instructions for a hold-up,” he said through his lawyer, Raouf Gulbul.
Full details during reconstruction
After admitting they were involved in the hold-up, the three suspects gave the names of two other men, who are allegedly involved in the hold-up. Bye Issah Ajaree, one of the names mentioned, gave himself up to the police. This 46 year-old inhabitant of Eau-Coulée took part in the reconstruction of the jeweller’s shop hold-up in the presence of the MCIT head, Prem Raddhoa, as well as inspector Jokhoo. He gave full details about the way the hold-up took place a year ago.
As for Swaley Tarsoo, 38, he also gave himself up but made it clear that he had been contacted only to drive the four others to the shop. He insisted that he was still in the car when the others were doing the hold-up and that he obtained no portion of the loot.
The five suspects were all provisionally charged with “larceny made by more than two individuals” in the district court of Port-Louis. As the police objected to their release on bail, they will remain in police custody until further notice.
The name of Mohammad Junaid Mohun was also mentioned in the press, saying that he was wanted by the police. As a result, this student in Islamic law swore an affidavit in the Supreme Court, which was sent to the commissioner of police through his lawyer. He explained that, being on holiday in Mauritius, he wanted to pay a visit to his relatives and needed a car for that purpose. “I called Cehl Meeah, who is a friend of mine. He introduced me to Mrs. Neguib who said she could put a Honda Civic at my disposal.” He explained that he kept the car between the 30th of June and the 3rd of July.
But, he said, as he was going to give it back, he was contacted by Ramtoolah Hossen, another friend, who wanted to use the car for a few days. “So, with Cehl Meeah’s consent I gave the car to Toola provided that he kept it until at latest the 7th of July and paid the fees for the period,” he further explained. It was only on the 9th of July that he was contacted by the car owner and told that the car had been seized. He says he was surprised to see his name mentioned in the press as being wanted.
But the consequences of the arrest in Petrin even extend to a minister’s adviser. Acktar Ramchurn, minister Dulull’s adviser, is suspected to have plotted with his brother, Naushad, whose name has been mentioned in the jeweller’s hold-up. Acktar Ramchurn is suspected of having produced a fake medical certificate to try and get his brother out of a delicate situation. The police also believe that he sheltered his brother while he was wanted by the police… As the investigation continues, the Pétrin case could unveil even more mysteries.