The big news for the last week has been the accusation of a suspected bribery ring at the Board of Investment. One or more of its officers are suspected of accepting bribes of Rs100 000 to push through Retirement Permits. The investigation may reveal a broader range of permits benefited from some financial grease. Or it may reveal no wrongdoing. Time will tell.
Our CCID (Central Criminal Investigation Department) have made an arrest and others may follow. The CCID will now investigate all those with regular contact with the BOI, such as Management Companies, to establish where these suspected bribes were coming from, and to identify all the dodgy permits.
So the bad news is that all pending applications will be put on ice until the CCID have a better picture. This could be longer than a week or two, or three or four.
I find it hard to believe that this delay will continue for too long. Some solution must and probably will be found. But until then, anyone with a pending application should take a deep breath, and wait.
Oh, and if a bribe was paid to get your permit, now is the time to be looking for an alternate jurisdiction!
Here is the BOI’s communication relating to this issue. It is hoped that this vital cog in our economy gets back to normal as soon as possible.
Update July 30, 2012: Published on the front page of The Independent today:
“Former BOI manager arrested by CCID
The inquiry by the Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) over the alleged traffic of occupational permits at the Board of Investment (BOI) led to the arrest of former manager of the Board of Investment, Dayanand Fowdar on Monday. He was arrested after another suspect, Iqbal Mohabuth, revealed his name.
Fowdar was suspected of receiving bribes worth Rs20 000 for helping a client of Mohabuth obtain an occupational permit. An initial attempt of the person of Indian origin failed and Fowdar requested the permit seeker to apply a second time, but this time to avoid filling in the sector he was applying for.
The second attempt was successful.
He was presented at the Port Louis district court after his interrogation and according to sources he will be back to be confronted with documents collected during the inquiry. He received bail and rejected all claims levied onto him by Mohabuth.
Meanwhile, Ernst and Young is conducting an audit trail on behalf of the BOI to find whether all the procedures were followed.
Meanwhile the Front Desk Manager of the BOI, Marday Marian, code-named Tana, arrested on Friday, used her right to silence and refused to answer questions of investigators. She was represented by counsel Rama Valayden. She stated she will only speak in court.”