A major development took place at the end of the afternoon of Thursday, April 27. Using CCTV footage from Safe City, a joint operation by officers from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of Metropolitan Police South Division and those from the Divisional Supporting Unit (DSU) of that division made it possible to get their hands on a homeless person (SDF). The latter Christopher Jonathan Magdeleine, 36, listed as a notorious repeat offender, was prowling around the Kwan Tee pagoda, was arrested. Subjected to close interrogation, this suspect from Bambous was quick to confess to having killed the trader Sri Balkrishna Luchmaya, 90, in his haberdashery store on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 25.
Since Tuesday, April 25, investigators from the CID and those from the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) of the Central Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) have been viewing images from Safe City surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify suspicious-looking individuals who came from rue Brabant, Port-Louis. This is how the movements of Christopher Magdeleine were followed. Shortly after the victim was killed on Tuesday April 25, he was seen getting rid of an envelope under a bridge near the Caudan roundabout.
This Thursday, April 27 around 4:30 p.m., an operation was mounted at this location by men from the CID led by the superintendent of police, Aniff Thug and the chief inspector, Chandrana Ragavoodoo and those from the DSU headed by the superintendent of police, Shyam Bansoodeb. This envelope which was recovered contained business cards belonging to Sri Balkrishna Luchmaya. A descent carried out afterwards made it possible to apprehend Christopher Magdeleine not far from the pagoda of the roundabout of Caudan.
Arrested, this suspect, who has a series of cases of theft in the Petite Rivière region, was taken to the CID office in Port-Louis/Sud at the Central Barracks for questioning. Christopher Magdeleine was quick to confess the facts of which he is accused. In great detail, he recounted the circumstances in which he killed this nonagenarian. He says he entered the store claiming to want to buy four meters of fabric. While the victim had his back turned to cut the web, he grabbed him by the neck. Sri Balkrishna Luchmaya was struggling and bit his left arm so hard that his braces came out. He said he squeezed the man’s neck until he passed out. Christopher Magdeleine confides that he then removed his three rings from his fingers before seizing a sum of Rs 800 which was in the cash register of this business before fleeing.
The movements of this suspect were followed to Saint Joseph Street, Port-Louis where he wanted to go to a jewelry store to sell the stolen jewelry. Asked about this, Christopher Magdeleine explained that he could not dispose of them because this business was closed.
Christopher Magdeleine was subjected to DNA tests. His interrogation continued until very late in the evening of Thursday, April 27. This morning of Friday, April 28, he will be presented before the court of Port-Louis on a provisional charge of assassination.
In addition, a 28-year-old man who was arrested in the wake of this investigation by the MCIT at the end of the afternoon of Wednesday April 26 was presented before the Port-Louis court on the morning of Thursday April 27. This suspect who lives in the village of Camp Diable denied any involvement in the death of this nonagenarian. He was subjected to DNA tests.
It was by viewing surveillance cameras on rue Brabant Port-Louis that the men of Inspector Rishi Jugoo of the MCIT tracked down this resident of Camp Diable. This exercise was not so difficult because this man is known to the police for having committed several crimes. He was seen walking naked along this street on the day of this crime. This is how MCIT police went to his home on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 26 to arrest him.
Pending his next appearance before the Port-Louis court on Thursday, May 4, this suspect was taken back to the cell at the Alcatraz detention center at the Central Barracks.
The macabre discovery of Balkrishna Luchmaya was made by his 80-year-old wife Senmista Luchmaya, née Appadoo, around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25. The latter, who was conversing with her sister-in-law by video call from England, had come to the store located just in front of their house to pass her cellphone to her husband so that he could speak to his sister. She immediately alerted her daughter and one of her two sons who is admitted by profession, who were quick to arrive on the spot. They tried to talk to the victim but to no avail. His daughter found that the three rings he wore on his fingers, including a silver engagement ring, a gold engagement ring and a gold ring with the initials bl have disappeared. The cash register in his store was open.
Her daughter called an ambulance from the Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence, which arrived at rue Brabant about half an hour later. The doctor on board was unfortunately to declare the death of the victim. Already the thesis of strangulation was suspected, because the victim carried a trace around his neck.
An autopsy performed on the body of Sri Balkrishna Luchmaya on the evening of Tuesday April 25 by Dr. Sudesh Kumar Gungadin, head of the police forensic department attributed the death to asphyxiation due to neck compression.
It is a feeling of revolt that animates residents and traders operating in Brabant Street, Port-Louis, the death of this nonagenarian, they say, should not go unpunished. How easily was this man’s life taken. The latter was a dean who always operated his haberdashery shop at this address. He has worked very hard to educate his three children, including a daughter who is an accountant and two sons who are lawyers and solicitors respectively.
It is in the greatest family intimacy that the funeral of Balkrishna Luchmaya took place in the afternoon of Wednesday, April 26. He was cremated at Les Salines, Port-Louis. This man was to celebrate his 91st birthday on Sunday, June 4.
The police investigation in this case is under the supervision of Assistant Police Commissioner, Shaylesh Gukhool, Divisional Commander of the Metropolitan Police Southern Division.