It is a real puzzle that investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division of Grand-Baie will have to piece together after the sinking of the fishing boat “Mao” off the coast of Reunion Island on Thursday May 30. Three suspects are being held in police cells following this investigation. They are skipper Kamlesh Bolaky, a 50-year-old mason; Jean Stephen Ambalavani, a 32-year-old mechanic; and Jérôme Roger Agathe, a 38-year-old welder. This trio is provisionally accused of theft before the Rivière-du-Rempart court. Inspector Dooshan Thakoor's squad suspects the man named Jérôme Roger Agathe of having stolen this boat which belongs to his father-in-law.

According to the interrogation of Kamlesh Bolaky and Jean Stephen Ambalavani, who found themselves in difficulty in the Reunion sea, they carried out this sea trip at the request of Jérôme Roger Agathe, for a fishing trip. Once in Mauritius, they would hand over their catch to Jérôme Roger Agathe and, depending on the quantity of fish brought back, they would be paid.

But the duo claims that on the high seas, one of the two 225 HP engines of the Isuzu and Mitsubishi brands of the fishing boat “Mao” broke down. Panicked, they preferred to let their boat be steered by the waves and did not want to take any risks to return to dry land at Pointe-aux-Canonniers where they had started.

During an exercise, Kamlesh Bolaky and Jean Stephen Ambalavani positively identified Jérôme Roger Agathe as the one who gave them this fishing boat. Confronted with their confessions, Jérôme Roger Agathe opted for his right to silence and declared that he intended to give his version of the facts in the presence of his lawyer. Investigators want to know under what circumstances this fishing boat was stolen.

It was on the evening of Wednesday May 29 that the owner of the boat, a French national, declared that it, which was moored in the lagoon of Grand-Baie, had been stolen between the 19th and 29th. may. Initially, he focused his suspicions on a resident of Trou-D'Eau-Douce to whom he had given the keys to this boat on May 19 for maintenance work. Questioned by the Grand-Baie CID, the latter rejected any involvement in this case of theft. After his interrogation, he was allowed to return home.

On Thursday, May 30, the boat “Mao” was found stranded against the shores of Champ Borne in Saint-André, Reunion, facing heavy seas. The gendarmerie of the sister island arrested its two occupants, Kamlesh Bolaky and Jean Stephen Ambalavani. Suspecting a drug transfer between the Réunion-Mauritius axis, she requisitioned the boat. During a careful search, no traces of drugs were discovered. The two suspects were shipped to Mauritius the next day. They were arrested when they got off the plane.

The Réunion-Mauritius axis is closely monitored by the Mauritian anti-drug brigade as well as the Réunion gendarmerie, because traffickers favor this route to mainly bring back zamal (Reunionese cannabis) produced on the sister island with a view to supplying the various points of sale drugs in Mauritius. In April 2023, the gendarmerie of Reunion Island seized 100 kilos of Reunion cannabis which were to be exported by sea to Mauritius.

A second stolen boat

A resident of Péreybère reported to the police on May 30 the theft of his boat equipped with two engines. The boat was moored in the lagoon, near the owner's bungalow. This case of theft occurred between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 29. The owner estimates this loss at Rs 1.2 million.

The National Coast Guard has started research to trace this second stolen boat. Maritime patrols, as well as air patrols, are carried out on the high seas. It is reported that the police helicopter was able to spot the speedboat on the high seas, but the NCG officers were unable to trace the boat due to poor weather conditions. time.

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