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Two Police Officers Were Arrested For Conspiracy With An Alleged Drug Trafficker

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Constables Zakir Hussain Choychoo, 45, of the Grand Baie police station, and Atish Bhugaloo, 30, assigned to the Piton detention center, were arrested on the morning of Friday October 6 on a charge of conspiracy. The two police officers committed the offence on the morning of Monday September 18, with the complicity of James Koroma, a 36-year-old businessman of Sierra Leonean nationality, who is being held in the Piton detention center on a provisional charge of drug trafficking.

James Koroma and two of his compatriots, including a woman, were arrested on rue Saint Dénis, Port-Louis, on Monday September 11 by a team from the Flying Squad of the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit¸ They were found in possession of 9.10 grams of cocaine and the sum of 10,000. The latter is suspected to have come from the sale of the drug. The other two suspects are Daniel Tamba Moiba, a 38-year-old electrical engineer, and a student, Fatma Alima Bangura.

Having received certain information on Monday September 25, the sub-inspector, Santbaksingh, in charge of the Piton detention center, decided to view the center’s surveillance camera images for the date of September 18, between 11:37 and 11:49 am. He saw that Constable Choychoo, assigned to the Grand Baie police station, had access to this area to meet detainee James Koroma in cell N0 1. This detention center is a Restricted Area. SI Santbaksingh searched the detainee’s personal belongings in his cell, accompanied by Constable Bhugaloo.  He gave a statement the same day to initiate an investigation.

The investigation, led by Inspector Thakoor of Grand Bay’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), resulted in the arrest of the two officers on Friday October 6. On the same day, they were brought before the Pamplemousses court on a provisional charge of conspiracy. As the police objected to their release, they were returned to their cells. They told the investigators that they would give their statements in the presence of their lawyers.

The two suspects were due to appear in court again on Friday, October 13. In the meantime, their lawyers have filed a motion for the two officers to be released on bail. The motion will be debated on the morning of Wednesday October 11.

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