Development in the case of “exceptional” seizure of 42.6 kilos of heroin aboard the Mauritian boat Sweet Love Mama, in the port of Ste-Rose on the night of Thursday to Friday 11 November. Six suspects, including Mauritians, appeared before the public prosecutor’s office of the criminal court of Saint-Denis on Monday (November 14th). A 16-year-old girl, who had been worried in this case at first was dismissed.
In its online edition on Monday, the newspaper linfo.re, indicates that the investigators want to know if the exchange of heroin occurred only once when it is a network from to La Meeting. Already, the investigators have become aware that there is indeed a network because some suspects have confessed a previous convoy of heroin at the beginning of the year.
The Journal of the Reunion Island (JIR), for its part, reports that a second boat was also intercepted at the western port of the sister island. According to the newspaper, the yacht Ilôt Gabriel, capable of making the journey between Madagascar and Mauritius, via Reunion, could have been used to store the drug.
Still according to the press of Reunion, the investigating judge will undoubtedly solicit the cooperation of the Mauritian and Malagasy authorities in this case. On the one hand to deepen the investigation, in search of potential sponsors, and on the other hand to go back to the source of this possible trafficking of heroin.
Linfo.re indicates, in the wake, that the owner of the boat Sweet Love Mama was not aware of the transaction that was going to happen, just like one of its passengers. It is a third man who initially proposed a game of fishing before asking the others to go to Sainte-Rose for personal reasons. The market value of this drug is estimated at Rs 639 million.
Record seizure for the Indian Ocean
The 43 kg of heroin over Rs 600 million seized on the Sweet Love Mama outboard in Reunion is a record for the Indian Ocean, says the press of the sister island. The biggest seizure in Mauritius was carried out in November 2001 by a man named Yousouf Elias Hajee Sheriff, alias Isoop Tole, where about 15 kg of heroin, estimated at Rs 150 million, had been found in his house.
The Real West for Traffickers
Drug traffickers found the flaw in the country’s surveillance system. This, while the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Central Barracks focus on security at the airport and port to combat drug entry. The west coast became their starting point and destination to carry out their illicit activities.
Limited staff of the National Coast Guard (NCG), lack of appropriate facilities or an area that spans several kilometers to monitor. These are all noted weaknesses that make the shipping of drugs by sea in the west has become the new route of traffickers.
These weaknesses were, moreover, pointed out by the Director of Customs, Vivek Ramburrun, during his hearing before the Commission of Inquiry on drugs on 3 November. “Ships that want to leave for Madagascar or Reunion must absolutely go through the west of the island. This is the direct path where the sea is normally quiet for good navigation, “said a senior officer of the Anti-Drug & Smuggling Unit (ADSU). But the NCG only has a local in Black River with a dozen men and two (three on some occasions) Fast Interceptor Boats to monitor all this part of the island. “It’s almost impossible mission to control all boats in the West. There are about fifty who take daily the sea, “explains our interlocutor.
This is why the MRA intends to put more emphasis on the boats that crisscross our coasts, especially in the regions of Grand Baie, Tamarin, Albion, and Le Morne. These are the favorite places where speedboats and boaters can head straight to Madagascar or La Réunion in just a few hours without being controlled by the authorities. While a boat leaves the north of the country to make the same route, it will soon be detected by the radar of the NCG in the Salines once arrived off Port-Louis because the zone is highly secured.
In addition, to escape the controls, the boats gone recovering from the drug set sail on their destination in the evening. “With a powerful engine, the speedboat can win the Big Island in four hours and it’s even faster for the sister island,” our source told ADSU.
The Central Barracks evoke three ways in which the drug is transported to our territory by sea. The first: the merchandise is thrown off Mauritius and the skipper has only to sail to recover it by using his GPS. It is this mode of operation that was used, according to the police, by the network called “Gro Derek” where it was enough for a fast boat to take delivery of the parcel off Albion.
Second option: the drug is recovered directly in Madagascar. “The round trip normally takes a weekend as the journey takes place overnight. The shortest route remains the departure of Tamarin, “says one to the ADSU. The third scenario is that the drug is linking Madagascar-Reunion-Mauritius. In this case, a Reunionese complicity becomes essential to hide the merchandise until the Mauritian contact comes up.
Generally, the boat passes through Le Morne to head for the sister island. The Central Barracks believe that this is what would have taken place for the Sweet Love Mama and her skipper Armonzo Capdor who was pinned in the port of Ste-Rose. The latter was to return to Tamarin early Friday morning. It remains to be seen who should take possession of the parcel.