For the love of Mammon

canstockphoto16540184These last few days Paradise has been rocked by scandals at the highest levels of society.

The first, on 6 February, has been the arrest of the ex-Prime Minister on suspicion of conspiracy and money laundering. A search of his home revealed two safes and two suitcases full of cash notes in various currencies, MUR, USD, EURO for a total amount of MUR 220 million.

On Friday 13th February the ex-Governor of the National Bank of Mauritius (BoM) was arrested for theft and money laundering. A search of his home had revealed MUR 1 million in various foreign currencies as well as confidential documents belonging to the BoM.

Investigation is ongoing at the time of writing so no conclusion or guilt can be determined at this stage. However, quite apart from the criminal law aspects let us consider the morality side of the story.

220 million Mauritian Rupees (approx. USD 6,596,702 or EUR 5,791,666 or GBP 4,283,990). That is a huge amount of cash notes in a private home. When you consider that many workers in this country are taking home a monthly pay packet which is very near the poverty threshold of MUR 6,000 (approx. USD 180 or GBP 117 or EUR 158) the huge sums hoarded in a private home is totally immoral.

Why immoral because the origin of those millions are probably contributions from the private sector for the election campaign. The foreign currencies would suggest commissions probably for signing of commercial contracts.

The private sector here contributes very little to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We usually see relatively small amounts of money contributed to Associations or NGOs working in social fields. To see millions contributed as gifts to political parties is just sickening and immoral. There are still pockets of extreme poverty on the island. There are many areas of development that could benefit from extra cash such as housing, education, job training and health.

The scandals have unveiled an irresponsible social corporate responsibility. Companies or corporations prefer to dish-out what can be termed as bribes to political parties in return for favours rather than invest profits in the more vulnerable social sectors.

We live in a sick society where a handful of people spend their energies and intellect at money-grabbing and power-mongering at the same time keeping-up appearances of honesty and benevolence with their false public smiles.

Links
Ex-Governor of BoM, Rundheersing Bheenick, Arrested By CCID
Minimum wages by country
Corporate Social Responsibility

2 thoughts on “For the love of Mammon”

  1. Glad that you highlighted the immoral nature of having such a colossal amount of bank notes in the house of an ex Prime Minister. Also, it’s good you whipped the part that private sector played with their so-called “donations”. I don’t understand the need to donate a political party. I never find the parties doing “real” social work on the streets of Mauritius, then why to give them money? Any other reason sounds like “bribe” to money.

  2. Well Mike, what’s new in fact.
    Some of those in so-called “high places” have been responsible here in England, for this type of behaviour, not to mention other offences too, as well as some companies & organisations too.

    Whether we have taught the world around us how to do these sorts of things, would be a matter of debate, but one thing appears certain is that the more money or property that one has, the more that person is likely to ‘hide their ill-gotten gains.’ On the other-hand though, I believe that if one is able to invest and/or put their monies in a bank-account where there is sufficient interest on such balances to induce more people to use that method, then perhaps there would be less of a need to hide-it elsewhere.

    The rate of interest here in England is barely above 0% and even though the inflation rate is also very low at barely 0%, there is little incentive to save one’s money in a bank, rather than either spend it or hide it away…

    Some of those who benefit the most from the current situation here are the borrowers and as long as they are able to repay those loans/mortgages or whatever within whatever period of time, is once-again another matter.

    As it appears that the Mauritian interest rate is just above 3% at the time of writing, then perhaps the hiding of monies that you have mentioned here, has other reasons… !!!

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