STATEMENT OF DR RICHARD L MUNISAMY TO THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION

Made on the 19th Day of December 2011.

It is my ardent belief that the Jugnauth family have violated the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002 (POCA). The statements that follow fall into one of three categories:

  • Things that I have witnessed first hand or that are available as public records.
  • Things that I have been told by first hand witnesses.
  • Beliefs that consistently explain the the collection statements in the above categories.

Where appropriate, I make the distinction between these three categories, however, it is the responsibility of the Commission to verify their veracity.

Paddy Ashdown was leader of the UK Liberal Democrat Party from 1988 to 1999. At some point in 1998/9, he visited Mauritius and the British High Commission hosted a reception for him. At that time my father, Pitambarum Munisamy, was a City Councillor for Gloucester, UK, a former candidate for Parliament and a member of the said party. He attended that event and became acquainted with Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ). One or two years later, after SAJ had become Prime Minister, my father met him in his office and presented him written material on the subject of proportional representation.

In 2001, I visited Mauritius on holiday and on November 12, made an application for Registration as a Citizen of Mauritius. Five months later, the response (copy attached), dated 10 April 2002, was sent to my grandmother’s house and I became aware of it when I visited Mauritius in September that year. The application was rejected on the basis that I had “not stayed continuously for a period of 3 years in Mauritius prior to [my] application”. I believe that this decision was unconstitutional and was part of a conspiracy by the Jugnauth family, probably in collusion with the staff of the Prime Minister’s office, to extract gratification in return for granting applications like mine.

During the period from approximately September 2002 to November 2004, I resided in Mauritius for the purpose of being with my Grandmother during the last period of her life. In order to remain in Mauritius, it was necessary to set up a company and obtain both work and residence permits, which I did. Towards the end of February 2004, it became obvious that my grandmother was close to death and I requested that my father come from the UK to be by her side. She died in his arms a few days later on the 29th of February 2004. After the funeral, he returned to the UK.

Around Easter 2004, my father accompanied my son on his biannual holiday to Mauritius to be with me. During that visit I drove them both to le Reduit where my father met with SAJ. During this meeting, my father gave him a copy of my application for Registration as a Citizen of Mauritius. Neither I nor my son were invited into the President’s office but we were entertained by police officers in the grounds of the chateau. This is when I was first made aware of the parlous state of law and order in the country and how many officers of the police force are frustrated in their efforts to uphold the law and investigate crimes due to interference of a political nature.

By this time I had fallen in love with Mauritius and made the decision to remain here in order to change my father’s birthplace for the better. Hence, I applied myself to my business and transformed it into a consultancy to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). One objective was to persuade individuals of high net worth to invest in projects of the newly launched Integrated Resort Scheme.

In November 2004, I received an unsolicited phone call from one Henri Grignon who demonstrated that he knew information about me that was not easily available in the public domain. Intrigued, I met with him on 21.11.2004 at his residence in Floreal. During this meeting, among other things, he stated that he was related to the Jugnauth family and that an ancient and extensive network of freemasonry in Mauritius could be exploited to achieve results that would otherwise be difficult, if not impossible. He also asked me about the status of my application for nationality.

Over the course of the next few days, he developed a sophisticated confidence trick with his associate called Andrew. I was persuaded to pay them some Rs.220,000, under what turned out to be false pretences, that they would help me to achieve my personal and professional aspirations through “IT services”. On the day before I left for India on business in the last week of November 2004, Mr Grignon strongly encouraged me make an application for nationality. I explained that this was pointless as I still failed to meet the conditions that caused my first application to be rejected. However, he insisted, indicating that I should not worry about the criterion.

Just for the hell of it, I applied for Registration as a Citizen of Mauritius on my way to the airport the next day. For reasons beyond my control, I was not able to return to Mauritius for a year. However, when I did so, I discovered that my application had been accepted within one month and that the letter confirming this was dated 24.12.2004. To this day, I find this absolutely extra-ordinary and cannot explain it in the absence of some clandestine intervention.

Mr Grignon, failed to provide the IT services that he invoiced me for and I subsequently discovered that the prices he had charged were extortionate to the point of being fraudulent. When I complained to him he replied that I had received what I wanted and any claim against him would fail. Indeed, he asked me for at least another Rs.100,000 and somehow Barclays Bank had paid him an additional Rs.50,000 from the account of my company.

All things considered, I can only explain this most bizarre course of events by one of three possibilities:

Scenario 1

  • The Jugnauth family made Mr Grignon aware of me.
  • Mr Grignon was tasked with obtaining a payment from me in return for being registered as a Citizen of Mauritius, which he proceeded to disguise as business services.
  • Once part payment had been received, the Jugnauth family facilitated my application.

Scenario 2

  • Mr Grignon found out about me independently.
  • He discovered that I wanted to be registered as a Citizen of Mauritius and sought payment from me, under the guise of providing business services.
  • When part payment had been received, he used either his relationship or the network of freemasonry to influence the Jugnauth family to facilitate my application.

Scenario 3

  • Mr Grignon found out about me independently and, while being a fraudster and con artist, was not materially involved in this act of corruption.
  • His knowledge of my application for citizenship was a lucky guess and his insistence that I re-apply was an amazing coincidence.
  • My father gratified the Jugnauth family to facilitate my registration as a Citizen of Mauritius.

Therefore, I accuse the Jugauth family and either Mr Grignon or my father of breaching the POCA and request that they be formally investigated by the Commission.

Supporting evidence