What we need to ask is WHO IS PROFITING from their departure?

The recent National Assembly debate on the joint NDEA-FIU Auditor General’s report would disgrace a gathering of drunken stevedores. The Irish who worked in the FIU and NDEA were roundly abused by all, called thieves, bandits and accused of trafficking heroin into Seychelles so that they could keep themselves in a job. Even the dead weren’t immune from the poisoned rhetoric spouting from the mouths of despicable politicians as they maligned and blasted an Irish that had died in service - all this on national television and radio for all to see and hear. Facts played little part in the debate. Instead a flawed and incomplete report was quickly embraced because it served the political machinations of politicians eager to distract the public from the failure of their first year running the Assembly to address fundamental issues like the cost of living, the impending recession and the break down in the rule of law.

A prejudice against foreign managers in Seychelles is such an ingrained reflex in the public mind that politicians in Seychelles have triggered it for decades to increase their popularity. There’s many a Hebdo or Weekly where some foreign grouping such as the UAE or India or Mauritius gets a racist bashing to drum up the support base for a failing politician. The current Assembly-led vendetta is completely disproportional  and is tantamount to the incitement of hatred against the Irish on a national scale. There are no bounds.  On social media they are now being accused of murdering the former Auditor General.

 We should be asking ourselves WHY?  Why are we being manipulated in this way?

Let’s look at some facts. The Auditor General’s report suggests that the cost of having the Irish manage the NDEA and FIU to fight drug-trafficking, money-laundering and security threats such as piracy would have cost about 20 million SCR in 2016. How much of the 2016 Annual Budget does this represent? In round terms, the Annual budget for 2016 was SCR 7500,000,000. That would have cost us one quarter of one per cent of our budget to pay the Irish running the services.

The role of the NDEA and FIU is to achieve justice on behalf of the people of Seychelles and to protect them and their interests (such as their communities, businesses, financial services and property sector) from risks such as heroin, organised crime and abuse by rogue states or terrorists. Their work had a significant secondary benefit for the State insofar as they investigated criminal assets which the Attorney General brought to court. The Courts arbitrated and if based on the evidence, they ruled that the assets were the proceeds of criminal activity, the assets were transferred to the Republic. In 2016, SCR 110,000,000 was transferred to the Republic from these cases. That is about 1.5% of the 2016 budget. It is a hard fact that the cost of having these agencies  run by expatriates was much less than the benefit transferred to the Republic from the enforcement of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering legislation against local drug traffickers, international organised crime and other forms of criminality such as corruption and bribery.

So why did the National Assembly cut the expatriate budgets? It certainly wasn’t for the good of the Seychelles or to save money. In December 2016, over SCR  250 million worth of alleged criminal assets, mostly in the offshore sector, was being investigated by the FIU and many cases had already been granted interlocutory orders by the Supreme Court. The cases were based on suspected foreign briberies, corruptions, frauds, illegal drug trafficking and other crimes. At the same time the NDEA was investigating with an EU partner a huge shipment of heroine expected in Seychelles waters before the end of March, a shipment to a family with strong political connections in the Republic. Very strong.

The campaign against the Irish in the Assembly is being driven by self interest and funded by criminality. The expatriate budget was cut because these expatriates, as everyone knows, were effective. Since they have left, there has been no significant heroin capture and no new criminal proceeds case. Instead, the laws have been changed so as to ensure that the SCR 250 million previously under investigation  is handed back, thereby robbing the victims trying to recover their monies through the Seychelles courts for the second time. It is a fact that due to the changes in the law, money in bank accounts which were suspected of being the proceeds of crime can no longer be frozen.

The national vendetta against the Irish by the National Assembly is a concerted effort by a handful of crooked embedded drugs and offshore crime  interests to legitimise the collapse of the rule of law in these two critical sectors. It exploits a cultural prejudice against foreigners in Seychelles and a politically-motivated desire for revenge against the former President to incite a hysterical national campaign of hatred. It all serves to distract the people  from the fact that the money is going back to the criminals, the politicos are back coordinating the importation of heroin and the jurisdiction is reverting to an offshore crime haven.



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