On Thursday 24th November 2011 I visited the Infotec Computer Exhibition in Mauritius. While there I was sold an Asus eepad Transformer by SR and ZR of the HM Rawat company. I was told it had the latest operating system Android 4.0 and that no more powerful models would be available in the near future. When I switched it on at home I was disappointed to discover that it had the older Android 3 operating system and was shocked to learn that a much better version, the Transformer Prime was being launched in a matter of days.
I called the head office the next day. A lady called S* apologised for the mistake, telling me that they would be taking delivery of the Transformer Prime within two weeks. She asked me to come to return the Transformer to the shop in Beau Bassin and I would be given the the newer model as soon as it arrived. When I arrived there at 16h45 on Saturday, I was told that I would have to pay more but they did not yet know how much. I explained that someone would be visiting me from the UK at Christmas and I would prefer to buy it there if it was cheaper. S* told me that she was not authorised to give me a refund. So she called SR and passed the phone to me. SR asked me to meet her at Infotec and she would sort things out.
Within 15 minutes I had arrived at the exhibition. Since SR was not at the HM Rawat stand, I asked other members of staff to find her and waited patiently. After a few moments a body guard in an HM Rawat t-shirt stood right in front of me and started to psychologically assault me. Shortly afterwards SR returned but the body guard insisted I would not be able to meet her. Then ZR noticed me and called out a greeting. As soon as I started talking to her I was confronted by about 6 other Rawat employees and effectively chased out of the building. I immediately called the police’s central despatch room who advised me to seek assistance from the officers at the exhibition.
Outside I could only find a lone police woman who suggested we return inside to find some male colleagues for support before seeking to identify my assailant. At the entrance to the exhibition we were confronted by about 4 men including a man who claimed to be the owner of the HR Rawat. From the HM Rawat website, I can confirm that he is Mahmad Ali Rawat. I suggested to the police woman that we continue inside and return with some back up. Then I noticed some photographer friends and asked them to get ready to take what might be some newsworthy pictures. I returned within a few minutes with two male police officers.
The owner insisted on moving away from the HM Rawat stand to discuss matters away from his customers. He also insisted on having the body guard by his side, but since I felt intimidated by his presence the police asked him to move out of sight. The owner then asked me what the problem was but continuously interrupted my explanation. After I had finished he told me that he would not return my money and that he would be happy to face me in court. He then started talking privately to the police officers. After a few moments they told me to make a declaration at a police station, so I asked to have their names and numbers as witnesses. They refused, removed their badges and walked quickly away.
I then went to another stand, Cash and Carry where I had ordered a memory card. However, the body guard continued to harass me, this time joined by a colleague wearing a t-shirt with an Orange logo. What happened next can be seen in the video. I later discovered that my photographer friends has themselves been warned by the Rawat thugs of the consequences of taking any pictures.
On returning to Pointe aux Canonniers, I attended the local clinic and the doctor diagnosed me as having a suffered a psychological trauma. He prescribed Zanax and advised me to rest. As I was still in shock I was not aware of the pain in my ribs but this became noticeable once I had taken the Zanax. Hence I took some pain killers that I had to hand.
On 2011.11.27, I was informed by Pointe aux Canonniers Police Station that Mr Rawat had made a complaint against me at Pailles that day (OB 2040/11). When I called the latter, I was informed that the complaint was a trivial one and there was no need to respond to it.
On 2011.11.30, I attended the hospital at Pamplemousses still suffering from a bruised rib after the assault. I presented the PF58 assault form that I had previously collected from Pointe aux Canonniers Police Station. When the doctor asked me why I had not come sooner, I replied that I had been taking Zanax to calm my nerves and it was not safe for me to drive. Up to 2011.12.29, I had not been summoned by any police station to make a statement in connection with the assault.
On 2011.12.29, I was in the office of the manager of the Orange shop at the edge of the SuperU car park in Grand Baie. On exiting the office I noticed the same man who had assaulted me at Infotec. He was wearing a black t-shirt with “Rawat” written on it. I quickly re-entered the office and asked the manager (Farad Soodun) to obtain the name of my assailant. He attempted to but returned to the office saying that he was unable to obtain the name.
As I exited the shop, I took a good look at the man to confirm it was the same person. I was convinced. Once outside, I hid myself behind a shipping container and called the police at Grand Baie. They told me they would despatch some policemen to assist. Some twenty minutes later a van with three officers arrived. I was surprised how long it took.
On entering the shop it was obvious that the culprit had left. On leaving the shop, the manager arrived from the direction of the car park. On questioning he told the police that the assailant was working for HM Rawat promoting Nokia mobile phones outside the shop. I apologised to the police for wasting my time. They told me that if I ever saw the man again to call them. They then advised me to make a declaration at Pointe aux Canonniers Police Station.
I then traversed the car park towards the food court. To my surprise I saw the villain sat in a car with two other people (one male and one female). They were clearly hiding. I switched my mobile phone on to video camera and approached the car to record the licence plate. As soon as my assailant saw me he made a call on his mobile phone, exited the car and moved quickly away from me so that I could not record his face. His male colleague moved in front of the licence plate to prevent me recording it, however he was not quick enough.
The car was a white Renault Clio, licence number 3647 AG 05.
On reflection, I believe that the police had either warned the Rawat staff directly through their head office or warned them indirectly though the manager of the Orange shop. In any event, it seemed pointless to call the police again. Another clear case of the Mauritius Police Farce preferring to serve the interests of the local oligarchic mafia than uphold law and order and protect life and and property.
On numerous occasions I have sought to make a declaration to the police at Pointe aux Canonniers about the original assault, however, they have consistently refused to accept it. From my own experience of the Police Complaints Bureau, they are an ineffective department with no real authority or independence. Therefore, I have no other recourse than to report the matter to ICAC and ask them to investigate this systemic corruption, i.e. collusion between the police and HM Rawat in breach of the POCA.