A police operation mounted in the central Flacq area on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 21, led to the arrest of Muktish Narain, a 28-year-old resident of Royale Road, Mon Loisir. He was reported to the Riviere du Rempart police station by a doctor for swindling him out of Rs 1,603,000. The doctor, who works in one of the country’s hospitals, had invested the money in an aquaponics project for the production of vegetables and fish.
It was on a Facebook post on September 12, 2020 that this 42-year-old doctor, living in Haute Rive saw an advertisement that a company was looking for business partners for an aquaponics project. Excited about the project, the same day he got in touch with the director on his messenger. They talked on the phone several times about the project. He had been reassured by Muktish Narain, the director about the project.
They had had meetings in St Julien and Haute Rive where Muktish Narain had presented this project for the production of vegetables and fish. This man had made him believe that this project would bring him a profit of 10 to 20 percent annually on his investment. So a purchase agreement was made on October 12, 2020 to start the project. His investment was to the tune of Rs 1,603,000. He would be a 70% shareholder and Muktish Narain would get 30%.
On October 8, 2020, he went to the Mauritius Commercial Bank branch in Bell-Village to write an office cheque for Rs 1 480 500, which he handed over to Muktish Narain at Haute Rive after the contract had been signed. The doctor was convinced by this director who had made him believe that he would first start with vegetable production and then move on to fish production as soon as the machines arrived.
The two men were in contact almost every day. In January 2021, the director had led him to believe that there would be a delay in the project after a cyclone and the subsequent lockdown of Covid-19. In June 2021, he had handed over the remaining sum of Rs 122,500 to a man, an employee of Muktish Narain. The latter had confirmed that he had received the money through a text message.
The two men remained in contact until January 2022. Thereafter he did not receive any more calls from Muktish Narain or his messages. No company was founded. Muktish Narain could not be found in St. Julian. The doctor said he got information which he moved to Mon Loisir. The doctor then realised that the man was acting in bad faith and that he had been swindled.
It was on the basis of this information that a joint operation by the men of the Divisional Crime Intelligence Unit (DCIU) of the Northern Division with the assistance of their colleagues of the DCIU of the Eastern Division was mounted at Centre de Flacq. After hours of surveillance Muktish Narain was arrested on the afternoon of Tuesday 21 June. He confessed to the charges against him.
After spending the first night in a cell at the Rivière du Rempart police station, Muktish Narain was brought before the Pamplemousses court on Wednesday morning, 22 June. He was subsequently returned to his cell.