Mauritius Attorney General Quits Over Money-Laundering ProbeBy
Yerrigadoo says allegations are ‘false and far-fetched’
Official is second cabinet member to resign over impropriety
Mauritian Attorney General Ravi Yerrigadoo stepped down to allow an investigation into allegations of money laundering, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said.
Yerrigadoo quit at Jugnauth’s request to “ensure the investigation is conducted in a transparent manner,” the premier told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Port Louis. Le Defi, a Port Louis-based newspaper, reported that an affidavit was submitted to Mauritius’s Supreme Court on Tuesday alleging that Yerrigadoo helped set up a financial structure to enable the transfer of gambling winnings to bank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland.
The allegations are “false and far-fetched,” Yerrigadoo told reporters at a briefing in Port Louis. “I have nothing to hide and my conscience is clear.”
Yerrigadoo is the second member of the Mauritian cabinet to step down over allegations of financial impropriety after Environment Minister Raj Dayal quit last year due to claims he demanded 1 million rupees ($30,000) to grant a license. Two months ago, the Supreme Court granted permission to the state prosecutor to challenge Jugnauth’s acquittal in a corruption case last year.
Mauritius’s $12 billion economy, dependent on sugar, tourism, manufacturing and financial services, ranks as the most competitive in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the African Development Bank. The Indian Ocean island nation is targeting becoming a high-income country, which is defined as having a gross national income per capita above $12,735, by 2023.
Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib appointed lawmaker Maneesh Gobin as the new attorney general. Yerrigadoo will resume the post “in the event that he is cleared,” Jugnauth said.