Thank you, Bashir!

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This week’s event is really too good not to share with you. An interview where a very intelligent and articulate member of parliament, MSM MP Bashir Jahangeer, expresses his enlightening views on various issues. Of particular interest to you might be his stand, and presumably that of his government, on the biggest scourge in this country: drug trafficking. 

But first, a bit of context. As far back as August 1st 2018, Weekly drew the attention of its readers to the very dangerous drug lord, Glenn Agliotti, who had been given a residence permit on March 1st 2018. We are not talking here about a petty drug dealer or a mule. We are literally talking about the Pablo Escobar of South Africa. A magistrate described him as one of the “snitches, pimps, rats who would sell their soul to evade a long prison term”. In a book entitled Glenn Agliotti: A Biography, authors Peter Piegl and Sean Newman say this about him: “The press called him a drug trafficker and a drug dealer. He was. He’d admitted to these crimes and signed a plea bargain to grass on an associate.” They describe him as “one of Johannesburg’s sons of the underworld”.

“While a former pilot, Patrick Hofman, an honest citizen married to a Mauritian national, was chased out of the country like a dangerous animal, the red carpet was rolled out for Agliotti. Why?”

Back to Mauritius, the prime minister announced recently in parliament that “On August 3rd 2018 [two days after the article appeared in Weekly – Ed] the Economic Development Board (EDB) informed my office and the Passport and Immigration Office that it has carried out a due diligence exercise on Mr G. A.” – something which they naturally should have done before granting the residence permit. In spite of that, and while a former pilot, Patrick Hofman, an honest citizen married to a Mauritian national, was chased out of the country like a dangerous animal, the red carpet was rolled out for Agliotti. Why? 

Here is Jahangeer’s brilliant answer to our colleague, Murvin Beetun, in an interview on Top FM, presumably speaking on behalf of his government: “If someone was convicted once, does that mean all his life he will remain convicted? Noooo…” Then he went on a long trip about how well his government is fighting drugs: “There is a saying that it is only when the MSM is in power that there is such a huge amount of drugs… Yes, there are drugs because we do not tolerate them. We discover them because we are controlling them… Before, why weren’t there any drugs? Because the previous government was not checking suitcases…” When a question was put to him about the drugs smuggled into the country in a backhoe, going through all the control systems undetected, his answer was epic: “Noooo, we can’t control what comes in in boats! They have to control that before the boat leaves Brazil or Morocco. It’s there that there are controllers who are involved and who close their eyes. Why, are we expected to check all the cars that come in? How would you know that when the backhoe came, there were two bags hidden in it?”  

With this declared efficiency and professionalism in hunting down drug traffickers, dealers of all ilk must be spending sleepless nights. If they are not locked up forever already. 

If you are not satisfied, here is something to cheer you up: Those who take a puff or two of marijuana and take the wheel will be tracked down, Jahangeer explains to us in his own flowery language: “Now, the policeman asks you to spit and you spit and then you go in if you have smoked. You can’t get away with it anymore.” Wow! Even more sleepless nights for big drug traffickers!

So, let’s continue to target marijuana smokers and listen to Pravind Jugnauth’s spiel about how he is determined to “break the ribs of drug traffickers” and Jahangeer’s appeal on behalf of the Pablo Escobars of the world. If they are convicted once, they should be given a second chance in Mauritius. I am sure the Pablo Escobars and Glenn Agliottis know that. Which is why they are so terrified! Thank you, Bashir. You really are a hero. 

For more views and in-depth analysis of current issues, Weekly magazine (Price: Rs 25) or subscribe to Weekly for Rs110 a month. (Free delivery to your doorstep). Email us on: [email protected]

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