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PNQ on Angus Road : Weeks go by and look the same!

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For the 4th consecutive week, the PNQ of Tuesday 24th November 2020 was again on the acquisition of the Prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, of a plot of land at Angus Road, Vacoas. And once again, the Opposition was hungry for more.

Weeks go by and look the same. The PNQ of Tuesday 24th November 2020 was again on the acquisition of the Prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, of a plot of land at Angus Road, Vacoas. 

The Leader of Opposition, Arvin Boolell, asked about the number of discontinued cases by the ICAC concerning payments in excess of Rs350 000 under the FIAMLA 2002 (Financially intelligence and Anti-Money Laundering Act). 

Pravind Jugnauth said that from 2002 to 2013, around 59 preliminary money laundering investigations were stopped by Icac. He also indicated that, following the recommendations of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), 11 investigations were not followed up.

The Prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth further explained that the authority and power to discontinue an investigation is vested in the ICAC itself under section 46 (3) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

The opposition leader said that the ICAC alone cannot end an investigation without consulting the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Asked by Arvin Boolell, if  any person has been questioned under warning in relation to the Angus road affair, Pravind Jugnauth said that as informed by the ICAC no person was questioned under warning between 2011 and 2014. 

He maintained that the 2011 and 2013 ICAC investigations were “stopped”, because of lack of evidence.

Arvin Boolell, for his part, alleged that the two inquiries were “kept in abeyance” and not discontinued. He argued that there are receipts that show an alleged cash payment over and above the legally prescribed limit.

Most of the Leader of Opposition’s supplementary questions were rejected by the Speaker. Members of government also referred to Standing Orders to stop him from asking for further clarifications on the Angus Road affair.