A delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat was in Mauritius to assist ICAC in an 8-day training session at the Hilton Hotel Mauritius. The training sessions were held on the 20th to the 29th April 2015 and were attended by over 100 participants, mostly from ICAC, but also from sister agencies such as the Office of the Sollicitor General, the Mauritius Revenue Authority, the Central Investigation Division among others. This training programme was the fruit of a meeting between the Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr Deodat Maharaj and the Director General of ICAC earlier this year.

According to Jarvis Matiya, Legal Adviser and Head of Justice Section of the Rule of Law Division, this training further cemented the Commonwealth Secretariat’s commitment to supporting African member countries in their fight against corruption. “Corruption is bad for development. It is important to make sure that any practice that drains the economy should be discouraged. Initiatives at the global, regional and national level are pointing to the fact that there is need to put in place measures to tackle corruption. The Commonwealth, because it believes in good governance, democracy and development, attaches great importance to any efforts and initiatives to tackle corruption” he said.

The training was segmented into two parts. The first part, themed ‘Enhancing Senior Management and Leadership Skills’, was held over one week and targeted senior representatives from ICAC and participant institutions. The second part, held from the 27-29 April, was a specialist training in anti-corruption and money laundering and targeted mainly prosecutors and investigators from the ICAC. “This is an opportunity to learn more on the work ICAC is doing and look at some of the challenges ICAC is facing. This training seminar has given the opportunity for various players within the criminal justice system to share notes and exchange ideas on how to strengthen the fight against corruption generally and look at other ways of strengthening their cooperation and investigation of corruption practices” declared Jarvis Matiya on this session.

The closing of the training sessions involved an interactive moot Court presentation which demonstrated the best practice approach to prosecuting money laundering cases. The lead facilitator for this exercise, Mr Andrew Mitchell QC, is a prominent barrister and consultant in the field of asset recovery, confiscation, restraint and receivership. Participants also heard from speakers including the Honourable Iqbal Maghooa, Puisne Judge, FIU director Guillaume Ollivry, Mr Shadrach Haruna, Criminal Justice Expert and Legal Adviser in the Rule of Law Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Joseph Jagada, Law Enforcement and Legal Adviser to the ESAAMLG, Mr Anthony Noble, Specialist Investigator, Mr Phillip Armand Moustache, Compliance Director at the Central Bank of Seychelles and representative of EGMONT Group among others.

Jarvis Matiya: Mauritius continues to be an example in terms of governance. I think statistics speak for themselves, namely the Mo Ibrahim index.

Finally, at the end of the training session, Jarvis Matiya explained his satisfaction with what he has seen in these terms: “Mauritius continues to be an example in terms of governance. I think statistics speak for themselves, namely the Mo Ibrahim index. That speaks a lot about the commitment to fight corruption and the very fact that we are here today to look at how we can strengthen that field is a clear indication of Mauritius’ determination in this fight. There are a lot of lessons the Commonwealth can learn from Mauritius in fighting corruption“.