St Louis adds to sustained anti-money laundering campaign against Mauritius

Post COVID-19, Mauritius is facing a serious risk of falling into the line of fire of international anti-money laundering busters.

The recent scandal involving the Saint Louis power plant disclosed by the African Development Bank, only adds to the ill-repute of the country.

Transparency International, in a blog entry, speaks about corruption in Mauritius.

(See a report from transparency on surveys in Africa dated 2019 below:https://www.transparency.org/files/content/pages/2019_GCB_Africa.pdf

In the blog post published in July 2019, Transparency is asking whether the country has reached a ‘tipping point in its fight against corruption?”

The TI report says Mauritians see institutions and groups like parliamentarians, the police and the prime minister as corrupt.

What Mauritian citizens think about corruption & bribery (2017 Survey)

MAURITIUS UNFAZED BY ALLEGATIONS

In the ST Louis case, the ADB says evidence supports a finding that Burmeister & Wain financially rewarded members of the Mauritian administration and others for providing access to confidential tender-related information.

This allowed them to tailor the technical specifications of the tenders to its offering. It was in serious breach of rules governing the tenders.

The problem we are facing in Mauritius is the government remains unfazed with the amount of allegations surfacing since the MSM-ML took power.

From Sobrinho to St Louis, Maradiva and so on, the country’s population altogether closed an eye and voted the government in power in 2019

EU BLACKLIST

In May, the EU is looking to add Panama, Bahamas, Mauritius to a money-laundering blacklist.

Mauritius now risks to be in a list of states that pose a financial risks to the bloc because of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing shortfalls.

This will be crown in the degradation of the country’s image as a safe jurisdiction for investment in particular.

And we have the Mauritius Leaks on the ICIJ portal.

Mauritius Leaks

In this case, one of West Africa’s largest economies— Senegal— has torn up its agreement with Mauritius as debate rages over the tax haven’s impact on developing countries.

Some African nations have campaigned against the Financial sector of Mauritius, arguing it is sucking the benefits from them and not giving a lot in return.

Mauritius has a problem. A big problem of corruption and nepotism. It is not doing anything to get rid of this problem that is eating into the country’s reputaion and economic progress.

MEDPOINT SUCCESS

However, you cannot blame the government entirely. It won a case at the Privy Council.

Winning over the Medpoint case and at the UN over the Diego Garcia tussle with Britain earned the MSM-ML regime a strong point.

But ignoring the rise of concern from international graft busters and campaigners will be a big mistake.

The entire country is at risk of suffering from the folly and the amateurism of the powers that be!

ST LOUIS

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor had won a contract of Rs 4.3 billion from the Central Electricity Board (CEB) for the redevelopment project of the Saint-Louis power plant.

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