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Published: 10 October 2008      

Chady stands down in Mauritius

The president of Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA), Siddick Chady, has been sacked following allegations that he sought a bribe from a dredging company.

Mr Chady  was arrested in mid-September on a charge of “receiving a gift for a corrupt purpose” and released on bail together with his wife and a business partner, pending a full investigation by the country’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

It was alleged at the end of July that he had received a payment of €25,000 in February 2007 from Dutch firm Boskalis for a contract awarded the previous year to dredge the harbour of the main port in Mauritius, Port Louis. Boskalis subsequently secured a contract valued at MUR380B (then US$15M) to dredge the harbour to a depth of 14.5m and completed the work as planned.

The Dutch company is understood to have refuted the allegations. Chady also denies the claims and has offered to allow police to examine his bank accounts. “You will see that I have never received any money from anybody from abroad," he said.

In preliminary hearings, his solicitor claimed that the allegations had been devised by Gilbert Philippe, the former chairman of the MPA, who has acted as the official port sector advisor to the prime minister of Mauritius since May 2006.

Chady is also facing illegal action relating to his other business interests and having been dismissed from his post at the MPA, it seems unlikely that the government will allow him to return to his former position.

The new MPA president has not yet been named but the case will not help ongoing efforts by the government to modernise the port of Port Louis.


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