February 7, 2015 / 8:54 PM / 3 years ago

Ex-Mauritius PM Ramgoolam arrested in conspiracy probe

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - The former prime minister of Mauritius, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, was arrested over the weekend by police on suspicion of conspiracy and money laundering, and later released on bail.

Mauritius' Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 28, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Ramgoolam, who conceded electoral defeat in December, was detained by police late on Friday after a search at his home turned up a significant amount of cash in various currencies.

He was released on Saturday after a court granted him bail.

“We believe that the vaults and suitcases that were secured by police contained more than 100 million rupees,” said Sanjay Nobin, a police spokesman.

The police enquiry was opened to establish whether Ramgoolam had lied and asked a businessman to make a false statement with regard to a burglary at his beach property in 2011.

”I did not appreciate the treatment which was granted to a former prime minister but I have always believed in justice”, Ramgoolam said after he was released.

The arrest of a former prime minister is very rare in Mauritius, which has been one of Africa’s most stable democracies since it gained independence from Britain in 1968.

Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by Duncan Miriri and Dan Grebler

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