FLIC-EN-FLAC ACID ATTACK: Mauritian businessman targeted for the second time

Flic-en-Flac – VIJAY SHAH via KENDY ANTOINE and defimedia.info

As attacks involving dangerous chemicals such as acids and ammonia are becoming frequent in the United Kingdom, it seems that, worryingly, the trend for such vicious crimes, has spread abroad. On the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, a local business person made the news there after he was attacked with acid, for the second time.

The man, aged 67, and living in the resort town of Flic-en-Flac on the island’s west coast, was attacked with a corrosive substance by a passing motorcyclist on August 31, his birthday, according to local French-language media Défi Media. He had unlocked the gate outside his home when the assailant rode past and splashed him with acid thrown from a pot. The victim suffered chemical burns to his arm and most of his face and was admitted to the burns unit at Victoria Hospital Candos in the nearby town of Quatre Bornes.

 

It was the second time the businessman, who was not named in the original report, was targeted, according to a statement he gave to Défi Media‘s reporters. He was the victim of a similar attack previously in the town of Rose Hill where a passenger of another motorbike hurled acid at him. That time, the victim managed to escape the brunt of the attack, although some acid struck his arm.

He reported the first attack to the police, but no arrests were made. The business person told media that he was afraid for his life, and he believed the attacks were due to people angered by his refusal to engage in unspecified immoral business practices for them.

The victim’s damaged articles of clothing were sent for analysis at Mauritius’ Forensic Scientific Laboratory (FSL) to establish the type of chemical used in the attack. Local crime investigators are also looking at CCTV footage of the time and place of the crime to prove the identities of the perpetrators.

SOURCES:

Reddy Ashanah.

Radio CONSEIL POLITIQUE . , Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/

Defimedia.info, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/www.defimedia.info/

“À Flic-en-Flac : un homme d’affaires victime d’une attaque à l’acide pour la seconde fois” – Kendy Antoine, Defimedia.info/LE DEFI MEDIA GROUP (8 September 2018) https://defimedia.info/flic-en-flac-un-homme-daffaires-victime-dune-attaque-lacide-pour-la-seconde-fois

IMAGE CREDIT:

“1 bedroom Studio Flat for rent from 2 to 3 people in Flic en Flac” – iha HOLIDAY ADS https://www.iha.co.nz/studio-flat-for-rent-flic-en-flac_1676

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FANFAN: Pioneering Mauritian musician passes away

Pamplemousses – VIJAY SHAH via Mo Ti News

Louis Gabriel Joseph, one of the pioneers of the national music of Mauritius, has passed away aged 88 yesterday, local news site Mo Ti News reports. Known among his peers and generations of listeners as ‘Fanfan’, Joseph passed on from age-related issues at the Hospice Saint Jean de Dieu in the town of Pamplemousses, in the island’s north.

 

Fanfan was widely revered as one of the signature personalities behind the development of sega music as a popular genre from the 1940s until fairly recently. Sega is a musical style peculiar to Mauritius, sung in Mauritian Creole (Kreol, or simply Mauritian) to the beat of drums, triangles and more recently, keyboards and synthesizers. It was developed by people of mixed African and French origins, most descendants of slaves who used their heritage of African music to get over the drudgery of their lives and enjoy what little spare time they could get.

Joseph was a stalwart and proponent of ‘sega tipik’ (typical or traditional sega), which was in vogue until around the 1980s before it was usurped by other genres, many from outside the island.

During his career, which began after the Second World War, Joseph recorded fifty songs. He cut his first record, titled “Ma Bolema”, in 1949, and released his last production, “Kito Lev Néné”, fifty years later under the Ballerina Music label. Joseph considered himself a guardian of the traditional form of sega, a dying art now, and with contemporaries such as Serge Lebrasse and Ti Frère, tried to actively promote the cultural values of his country.

SOURCES:

Mo Ti News, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/motinews/

“[Vidéo] Musique locale : Fanfan s’éteint à 88 ans” – Mo Ti News (18 August 2018) https://moti.news/video/video-musique-locale-fanfan-seteint-a-88-ans

“The Recording Industry in Mauritius” – Sabrina Quirin and In-House DRC, Music in Africa (30 September 2016) https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/recording-industry-mauritius

VIDEO CREDIT:

“Fanfan: «Mo dimann Dieu le Père ramass mwa»” – l’express, YouTube (via Mo Ti News) (28 July 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxMoPmS_dmI

SAINTE-CROIX RESTO: Burglar allegedly beaten to death in Mauritius restaurant

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH via NICOLAS ATHIANE and Inside News

 

The concept of ‘standing your own ground’ has taken on a new meaning in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, after an elderly couple were arrested for allegedly beating to death a burglar who targeted their restaurant business in the Sainte-Croix district of the capital Port Louis, Inside News reports.

To Chun Marlene Leung, aged 68, and her brother, named only as Alex and aged 65, were arrested after the death of a local and notorious criminal, 50-year-old Gaëtan Patrick Suave, who was said to have climbed into the restaurant via a window above a door. Suave then threatened the Leung siblings with a tool. A struggle ensued as the restaurant owners tried to disarm the crook, and Suave was left in what local police officers described as a ‘bloodbath’.

Police were called to the restaurant yesterday morning around 2.00 am, and found Suave unconscious. He was ferried to the city’s Dr AG Jeetoo Hospital but died five hours later. The Leungs were also taken to the same hospital after sustaining injuries in the fight to protect their business. Alex is still undergoing treatment and has not yet submitted a statement to police. Marlene Leung appeared at Port Louis Court yesterday afternoon on a possible charge of murder, after being taken into custody by the city’s police.

SOURCES:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/

“Un cambrioleur battu à mort dans un restaurant –Le propriétaire : « Mo ti defann mwa…»” – Nicolas Athiane, Inside News/Inside.news (12 January 2018) http://inside.news/2018/01/12/un-cambrioleur-battu-mort-dans-un-restaurant-le-proprietaire-mo-ti-defann-mwa/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Free photo: Thief, Burglary, Break Into – Free Image on Pixabay – 1562699” – TheDigitalWay, Pixabay (4 August 2016) https://pixabay.com/en/thief-burglary-break-into-balaclava-1562699/

MAURITIAN FUEL PRICES: In Mauritius, visiting the forecourt just got more expensive

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH via lexpress.mu

 

Mauritian drivers will now find their wallets a little lighter after the board in charge of fuel prices on the Indian Ocean island authorised an increase in prices for petrol (gasoline) and diesel, the national newspaper L’Express reported last week.

The Petroleum Pricing Committee announced after a meeting of its senior management on Wednesday 20 December, 2017, that fuel prices will be hiked. Following their decision, the recommended price per litre for petrol will increase from MUR Rs. 44.90 (GBP £0.99; USD $1.33) to MUR Rs. 47.30 (GBP £1.05; USD $1.40), an increase of Rs. 2.40. For diesel, the price goes up by Rs. 2.75 from MUR Rs. 35.35 (GBP £0.78; USD $1.04) to Rs. 38.10 (GBP £0.84; USD $1.12) with the price hikes going into effect from midnight following the announcement.

While even after the increase, Mauritians still enjoy cheaper fuel than many countries in Europe for example, the high cost of living there has caused many motorists to vent their frustration at the PPC’s new rates for fuels.

A number of comments from social media were studied by this article’s author. Commentators stated the news as ‘criminal’ and the Mauritian government’s idea of a Christmas gift for the nation. Others laid into the government itself, calling them ‘buffoons’ and saying that in other countries, such news would have heralded riots or a change in government.

SOURCES:

L’express Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/lexpress.mu/

Dabedeen Pravesh.

“Carburants: l’essence passe à Rs 47,30, le diesel à Rs 38,10 le litre” – lexpress.mu/L’Express (20 December 2017) https://www.lexpress.mu/article/323318/carburants-lessence-passe-rs-4730-diesel-rs-3810-litre

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:ShellPetrolStn A4174 Bristol.jpg” – Lord Shnozzington, Wikipedia (3 January 2009) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ShellPetrolStn_A4174_Bristol.jpg

DRUG DEALERS IN UNIFORMS: Mauritius policeman arrested with stash of pills

Moka – VIJAY SHAH via Mo Ti News

A policeman on the island of Mauritius has been arrested after he was found in possession of a drug described by media as the ‘new Valium’, local news site Mo Ti News reports.

Avinash Buleeram, a constable aged 29 attached to a police station in Moka, in the island’s centre, was found carrying ninety pills of a drug called Pregabalin. The highly potent drug is normally used to treat epilepsy, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and anxiety, but has also raised concerns due to its increasing use as a recreational drug, especially among prisoners, and has the effects of calming and ‘taking the edge off of things’. Pregabalin can be lethal in high doses.

 

Buleeram was arrested this past Thursday by the Flacq district’s drug squad while at a bus station in the small town of Sebastopol in Mauritius’ east, close to the border of Flacq and Moka districts. The drugs were allegedly found in a grey Toyota car he was driving with a friend. Both men were promptly arrested and appeared at a court in Flacq on Friday.

The constable, who has six years’ service with the Mauritian police, is now being detained at Beau Bassin central jail, after fellow police officers protested against Buleeram being set free on bail. He could face a drug trafficking charge. Buleeram’s passenger was also found in possession of a cannabis cigarette, but was successful in getting bail.

Officers arrested the two man based on surveillance, catching them unawares at the Sebastopol bus station. A search of the vehicle revealed cigarettes blended with cannabis and a box of Pregabalin tablets at 150 mg strength. Police carried out further searches, turning up another 34 Pregabalin pills along with 27 tablets of another version of the drug,  marketed as Cabalin.

Buleeram was found not to have a medical prescription for the pills seized from him, and his friend denied all knowledge of the constable’s possession. It was not reported for what reason Buleeram had the drugs.

SOURCES:

Salim Kurreemun.

Radio Plus CONSEIL POLITIQUE . , Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/

“Possession de 90 comprimés de Pregabalin: Le policier reste en détention” – Mo Ti News (25 November 2017) http://motinews.info/news/possession-de-90-comprimes-de-pregabalin-le-policier-reste-en-detention

“Pregabalin: Doctors call for ‘new Valium’ to be restricted amid sharp rise in abuse” – Katie Forster, The Independent (30 June 2017) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/pregabalin-new-valium-doctors-call-restricted-sharp-rise-abuse-misuse-prisons-addiction-bma-yasir-a7817601.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Lyrica 150mg box in Finland 20110618.jpg” – Acdx, Wikipedia (18 June 2011) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lyrica_150mg_box_in_Finland_20110618.jpg

AIR MAURITIUS CRISIS: Fifty pilots from India drafted in to man ailing airline

Port Louis – VIJAY SHAH and ABHI RAMSAHAYE via LeDéfi Media Group

A team of fifty pilots from India are being sent to the island of Mauritius to help solve a staff shortage that has brought the island’s national air carrier to its knees, reports local French-language news agency LeDéfi Media Group.

The island’s national and most significant airline, Air Mauritius is currently undergoing a crisis caused by many of its pilots refusing to report for duty, for reasons unknown. Several flights by Air Mauritius have already been cancelled since last Thursday, a serious problem for Mauritius, a popular holiday hotspot and for which tourism is a vital component of its economy.

 

The Mauritian government, frustrated with the inactivity of some of Air Mauritius’ aviators, has struck a deal with the government of India, an important regional ally, to supply the fifty pilots from Asia, who Le Défi said are now ready and waiting to take orders and man Air Mauritius’ planes. The Indian contingent are currently on standby to take over controls should more Mauritian pilots refuse to enter the cockpit.

Mauritius’ prime minister Pravind Jugnauth condemned the unofficial strike by Air Mauritius’ flight crew, claiming they were betraying the country. The PM said at an inauguration of playing fields in Résidences Briqueterie, Sainte-Croix: I find it unacceptable that people can act against the interests of Mauritius,”

“There will certainly be repercussions, but they (the airline) have my support,”

The airline’s board of directors have already terminated the employment contracts of three pilots this past Friday. The dismissals were followed by a press statement from the board, in whixch it said  it had “taken note of the detailed report presented by management” whose initial conclusions “confirm a premeditated and concerted action”.

The Air Mauritius debacle mirrors a similar situation in Europe, when the Anglo-Irish economy airline Ryanair was forced to cancel hundred of flights after senior management messed up pilot working hour rotas following a change in statutory holiday periods. Also in the UK, another air carrier, Monarch, went into administration with the loss of 1,900 jobs after losing £100 million of profits due to terrorism and the impact of Brexit on the travel economy.

SOURCES: 

Defimedia.info, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/www.defimedia.info/

“AIR MAURITIUS : 50 PILOTES INDIENS PRÊTS À PRENDRE LES COMMANDES” – Abhi Ramsahaye, LeDéfi Media Group (8 October 2017) http://www.defimedia.info/air-mauritius-50-pilotes-indiens-prets-prendre-les-commandes

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Air Mauritius A330-200 3B-NBM HKG 2012-7-16.png” – Sergey Kustov, Wikimedia Commons (16 July 2012) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Air_Mauritius_A330-200_3B-NBM_HKG_2012-7-16.png

MAURITIUS COMMERCIAL BANK: Major island bank voted best six years running

Port Louis, MAURITIUS
VIJAY SHAH via Le Defi

The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), one of the largest banking firms operating on the Indian Ocean island, has been declared ‘2016 Bank of the Year – Mauritius’ for the sixth year in a row, French-language Le Defi Media Group reported this past Friday.

The bank, one of the island’s few indigenously operated financial institutions has won the coveted title six times in the past eight years. A feature of the Mauritian high street with its distinctive red and white livery and stylised red sailboat logo, MCB received its latest award from The Banker, a banking magazine covering retail finance, technology and investments globally, and part of the prominent London based Financial Times group, who also publish the highly regarded Financial Times newspaper here in London.

 

 

Luke McCreevy, representing The Banker cited MCB’s record of offering local excellence in the island’s lucrative banking sector. He said “The jury found that the MCB is the Mauritian bank that grew the most during the last twelve months. This growth is reflected not only in the excellent financial results achieved but also by the range of initiatives taken by the MCB during this period,”

Antony Withers, MCB chief executive said “This award inspires us to do even better in 2017, and already we intend to offer our clients even more services, more effectively,” 

MCB, headquartered in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, also maintains branches in the Seychelles, Maldives and in Madagascar. It is the oldest bank on the island, founded in 1838, as well as also having the distinction of being one of the oldest retail finance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. After a slow and rocky start, the bank began to massively expand in the post-World War II years and now maintains forty branches and 150 cash machines in Mauritius alone.

 

SOURCES:
Arzina Ghannoo.
“LA MCB ÉLUE BANK OF THE YEAR POUR LA 6E FOIS” – Le Défi Quotidien/Le Defi Media Group (9 December 2016) http://defimedia.info/la-mcb-elue-bank-year-pour-la-6e-fois
“Mauritius Commercial Bank” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius_Commercial_Bank
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:MCB-Logo.png” – MCB Webmedia and Mauritius Commercial Bank, Wikimedia Commons (25 July 2013) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MCB-Logo.png

KOONJOO TRAGEDY: Daughter of Mauritian politician dies from severe burns

Plaine-des-Papayes, MAURITIUS
VIJAY SHAH via L’Express

The daughter of a member of parliament on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has died from injuries caused by a lamp she lit during prayers, local French-language publication L’Express reported yesterday.

Vandana Devi Ranjat (née Koonjoo), 40, the eldest daughter of Oceanic Economy Minister, Prem Koonjoo, was admitted to the Burns Unit of Victoria Hospital in the western town of Quatre Bornes twenty days ago in critical condition, following a tragic incident while participating in family prayers at the family home in Plaine-des-Papayes, a small village near the town of Triolet in the island’s north.

 

 

 

Ms. Ranjat, also known by the nickname Poonam, had been lighting diyas, traditional lamps used for prayers in Hinduism, on October 3. She had been replacing a diya, when its flames came into contact with her clothes after she spilled the lamp’s fuel contents on her hand. Overwhelmed with panic, she attempted to put out the flames but to no avail and they quickly spread.

Her funeral was held today in her hometown, and was attended by national luminaries, friends and family, including former prime minister Aneerood Jugnauth and his son Pravin. According to L’Express, she leaves behind her husband and one child.

Her father is a former teacher who is also a constituency member for Vieux Grand Port and Rose Belle. He has been Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands since 2014, and previously was in charge of ministerial portfolios for commerce, cooperatives and local handicrafts, and had also worked as a private parliamentary secretary.

 

SOURCES:
Alex Laridon‎.
Radio Plus – Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/
“La fille du ministre Koonjoo décède des suites de ses brûlures” – lexpress.mu/La Sentinelle Ltd (22 October 2016) http://www.lexpress.mu/article/292140/fille-ministre-koonjoo-decede-suites-brulures
“Plaine-des-Papayes: funérailles émouvantes de Vandana Koonjoo” – lexpress.mu/La Sentinelle Ltd (23 October 2016) http://www.lexpress.mu/article/292216/plaine-papayes-funerailles-emouvantes-vandana-koonjoo
“Premdut Koonjoo” – National Assembly, Republic of Mauritius http://mauritiusassembly.govmu.org/English/hmembers/Pages/Premdut-Koonjoo.aspx
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Port Louis, Parliament Building.jpg” –  Karsten Ratzke, Wikipedia (28 September 2015) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Port_Louis,_Parliament_Building.jpg

ROSE BELLE TRAGEDY: Homeless person found dead under parked bus

Rose-Belle, MAURITIUS
VIJAY SHAH via TOP FM

 

A homeless person has reportedly been found dead under a parked bus on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, local radio station Top FM reports. The body of a 63-year-old man, identified locally by his first name Raju was found this morning underneath a bus parked at a petrol station in the village of Rose Belle in Grand Port district, 10 kilometres west of district capital Mahébourg, in Mauritius’ south east.

It is not yet known how the victim died, or whether he was struck by the vehicle. Raju’s body was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Candos, in the western town of Quatre-Bornes, where an autopsy to determine cause of death will be performed.

The country’s police force have opened an inquiry to get to the bottom of the Rose Belle tragedy.

It is not known how many homeless people there are in Mauritius, but some estimates state around 500-700 nationally.

SOURCES:
Radio Plus – Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/?ref=nf_target&fref=nf
“Rose Belle: A Homeless Found Dead Under A Parked Bus” – Top FM Radio (10 September 2016) http://topfmradio.mu/2016/09/10/rose-belle-a-homeless-found-dead-under-a-parked-bus/
Yogesh Kumar Ramsahye.
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Rose belle transport – Bus Mauritius – IMG_6111” – Egidio Maurizio, Flickr (17 June 2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/egidiomaurizio/16456507113

 

HUMOUR MOMENT: Don’t do drugs, do dhal puri

 

 

Drugs are horrible substances. Whether legal or illegal, recreational narcotics usually cause harm to the body, damaging the user from the inside and out. So instead of sniffing that line or hitting that pipe, why not tuck into some Mauritian-style dhal puri instead. You’ll look a million rupees, and you won’t have to worry about the police pulling you over and busting you for illicit dhal puri possession.

For those who have never encountered the awesomeness that is dhal puri, let me explain. This is a snack popular on the island of Mauritius and an unforgettable part of my island’s culinary landscape. It is unleavened bread (rather like a chapati or thick tortilla) filled with lentils and spices, and often consumed as street food. Also known as ‘dhol/dhall puri’, this food goes great with a dollop of ‘zasar’ (pickle).

IMAGE CREDITS:
Fano Miasta.
Radio Plus – Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/