At the end of October, the three defendants were found guilty by the Assize Court of importing more than 2 kilos of heroin in 2016. A fourth defendant, Mohammed Jamil Motaleb, was acquitted. The verdict came down on Monday. Judge Iqbal Maghooa, after considering the circumstances and the plea for clemency from the three defendants, opted for a sentence of between 30 and 40 years’ imprisonment.
Seewoosing Dayal, alias Ashish, received the highest sentence. He will have to serve 40 years in prison and pay a fine of Rs 200,000 and costs of Rs 1,000.
Constable Edgar Henri Joly was sentenced to 35 years in prison. This former member of the anti-drug squad had indicated that he was his family’s main source of income, that his daughter was at school and that he had to support her mother. He must also pay a fine of Rs 150,000 and costs of Rs 1,000.
Louis Wenstley Jasmin received the lowest sentence, 30 years’ imprisonment, a fine of Rs 150,000 and costs of Rs 1,000.
In all three cases, the time spent in custody will be deducted from the sentence.
The representative of the prosecution, Acting Senior Assistant DPP Jean Michel Ah Sen, had called for the maximum sentence for the three accused, i.e. 60 years’ imprisonment. Ashish Dayal is considered to be the architect of this project. He was assisted by Constable Joly and Louis Wenstley Jasmin.
Kamlesh Radha, who is serving an 18-year prison sentence, testified at the trial.
Judge Maghooa also made a number of comments. He maintains that the supply chain has moved from the Indian sub-continent to countries closer to Mauritius, that the profile of consumers has changed, that the proliferation of drugs has become a huge social problem and that consumption affects all social classes, in towns and villages alike.
In his view, the court must take into account the harm caused, hence the tendency to always impose heavy sentences on drug dealers or traffickers.