GIS – 07 July 2020:There has been exchange of information between the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit (ADSU) and foreign authorities concerned with a view to obtaining relevant inputs for the progress of the investigation. As the investigation is still in progress, any disclosure of information pertaining thereto can be highly prejudicial to the case. It involves international ramifications, hence the enquiry is complex and time-consuming. To date, statements from sixteen persons have been recorded in connection with the case. No arrest has been effected so far.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement today in the National Assembly in reply to questions pertaining to the seizure of 95 kgs of heroin found in a wheel loader on 10 July 2019.
The Leader of the House recalled that on Wednesday 10 July 2019 at 1620 hours, following the request of the Service Manager of Scomat Ltd located at Grewals Lane, Pailles, a team from the ADSU proceeded to the location of the said company. The ADSU Officers were informed by the Manager of the company that on the same day at around 1530 hours whilst the employees were inspecting the engine of a wheel loader imported by the company from Brazil, they found three black kit bags which were concealed in the engine compartment near the exhaust muffler of the said vehicle. The bags were handed over for safekeeping to the store supervisor, who whilst checking the three kit bags came across several rectangular parcels each containing suspicious substances.
The Minister of Home Affairs underpinned that the responsibility for the examination and scanning of such types of consignment or equipment devolves upon the Customs Department of the Mauritius Revenue Authority. The examination, scanning and search of such types of consignments are based on risk management which is automated on pre-set selectivity criteria and also on intelligence and profiling, he stated.
Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that he has been informed by the Customs Department that since 11 July 2019 to 02 July 2020, 273 such types of equipment have been imported. All such types of equipment are, without exception, subject to sniffing by narcotics sniffer dogs; out of which 79 have also been scanned, 68 have been subject to physical examination and 35 have been scanned and examined. Nothing incriminating has been found in these types of equipment, he added.
The Leader of the House reiterated once more the unflinching commitment of the Government in the fight against drug trafficking.
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