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The ax fell in front of the assize court. Youssef Assime, an Italian national, was sentenced, on June 6, 2024, to twenty years in prison and a fine of Rs 50,000. This for possession of hashish, worth Rs 19,769,700, for resale. Offense committed on October 1, 2019, in Coromandel.

In fact, the Italian national arrived in Mauritius on September 30, 2019 with hashish. Upon arrival, he had stayed at Belamy Tourist Residence, Coromandel, and was awaiting instructions from a certain “Fatou” to deliver the drugs to the local contact.

On October 1, 2019, the accused was arrested by elements of the Anti Drug and Smuggling Unit (ADSU). This was following a search carried out in Coromandel. During this operation, the drugs were seized.

In court, Youssef Assime pleaded guilty. He was defended by Mes Jean Claude Bibi, Joseph Désiré Dian and Shaheen Acktar Cheeroo. The prosecution was led by Anjaleedevi Ramdin, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, and Yanish Rao Jeerasoo, State Counsel.

In his statement, the accused explained his personal situation and the circumstances in which he imported hashish into Mauritius.

He had met a certain “Moussa” through his friends. Subsequently, he had an accident while driving the scooter of one Moussa. The vehicle was completely damaged. Moussa had asked him to reimburse the damage caused to his vehicle, which was estimated at 11,000 euros (Rs 551,059.81). The accused agreed to repay in installments. But he had been threatened by Moussa.

In September 2019, Moussa reached an agreement with the accused. The latter had to bring a package to Maurice. In exchange, Moussa would waive the reimbursement of 11,000 euros.

Initially, the accused had refused Moussa's proposals. Following threats he had received against himself and his family, he was forced to accept Moussa's request. This on condition that the latter undertakes not to harm his family. This was how he transported drugs to Mauritius.

Testifying under oath, Youssef Assime emphasized that he was young, vulnerable and immature. He had requested the indulgence of the court.

In his judgment, Judge Pravin Heerah claims to have taken into account the circumstances of this present case. He mentions that the accused committed a serious crime. He also took note of the fact that the accused pleaded guilty and made confessions. Thus, he imposed twenty years in prison on Youssef Assime and a fine of Rs 50,000. Furthermore, he ordered that the 1,613 days that the accused spent in preventive detention be deducted from his conviction.

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