These days, being a taxi driver is not without risks. Henri (first name changed), aged 75, knows something about it. Working in Mahébourg, he came close to death twice while doing his job. In 2010, he was violently attacked, tied up, and his car stolen. Then, 14 years later, under threat of a sharp weapon, he was robbed again by a passenger. Here is his chilling story.

With more than 24 years of experience as a taxi driver, Henri has seen it all, coming close to the worst twice during his career. The latest dates back to Thursday May 23, 2024 when he was threatened and attacked by a passenger. An attack which reminds him of a dark memory dating back 14 years, when while running an errand, he experienced a nightmare in the clutches of two violent passengers. The latter had attacked and tied him up before stealing his car (see out of text). Moreover, having survived this armed attack in 2010, he had made the decision to no longer transport strangers as a security measure: “Depi ki problem la vini, li pa roulette mem asoir, li pa fer course mariage “I just transport people to land, I get people to land in iron,” confides his wife, very upset, to Défi Plus.

Threatened with a cutter

However, all his precautions were for nothing. On May 23, he was again the victim of an attack. On a daily basis, the septuagenarian travels from Mahébourg to Rivière-des-Créoles and back. That day, he picked up three passengers. Two of them got off at their respective destinations. The third got in the back seat and asked him to drop him off near a cemetery, but on the way he attacked Henri. The latter relates: “Ti enn zenes-la, mo pas conne li. “I shoot my cutter and I put my hand in my pocket, I take the money in cash.”

The taxi driver was smart enough to apply the brakes suddenly. Then, determined not to give in, he defended himself forcefully. “Mo ti panikem me my lager with li. My resi trap so cutter ki wound li. Disan inn fane,lor mo chemis apre li dire mwa donn li kas,” he confides. In the end, it was his attacker who had the upper hand. After getting his hands on the sum of Rs 3,300 in Henri's possession, he quickly left the taxi before fleeing. The septuagenarian, for his part, rushed to his home where he alerted his 64-year-old wife. The latter relates: “Mo find so linz ena di sang my won per, so pos tear my believe lin make an accident, li tell me steal ine attack li ine pren so kass, mone gains fright”.

Police work praised

Without delay, the couple went to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Mahébourg where the police immediately opened an investigation, under the leadership of Inspector Jugasing and Sergeant Goodur. After obtaining a description of the thief, the bloodhounds roamed the streets of Mahébourg and their efforts quickly bore fruit. Indeed, after having managed to trace the alleged thief, they arrested the latter, a man named Ansley Emmanuel Dorcy, aged 23. Injured on various parts of his body, he was subjected to interrogation where he admitted to having threatened and attacked the taxi driver. “Mo finn kokin enn sofer taxi ek mo finn blese,” he said. The police found the money stolen from the victim on him.

Henri, for his part, is in shock, because the suspect comes from the same neighborhood as him. “We don't care if we don't know what to do with our family,” he explains, disillusioned. His wife praises the work done by the police. “Ban CID Mahebourg inn well worked, inn returns money, inn returns money in cash. Bann dimoune abitier kritik lapolis, selma CID Mahebourg inn fer enn very good work,” she points out.

The suspect, accused of theft, remains in police cell.

In 2010, Henri, beaten, tied up and victim of car theft

Henri's first attack dates back to May 10, 2010, still in Mahébourg. That day, he picked up two passengers who were supposed to go to Rose-Belle hospital. En route, they place a sharp weapon under the throat of the taxi driver and force him to take a wooded path. In this isolated place, they attack him, tie him up and flee with his taxi, abandoning him to his sad fate.
“A gentleman tell me so comrade ine sap when safodaz ine fall, bring him to the hospital Rose-Belle, me on the way zon met couto are me, beat me, atas me both the hand ek my lipie”, relates the septuagenarian.

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