Operation Black Iron Update 19 May, 2022
Providence, Seychelles: On 19th May 2022, at the Supreme Court, the Anti-Corruption Commission
Seychelles (ACCS) substituted existing charges brought against Mukesh Valabhji and Sarah Rene
relating to corruption, abuse of authority of office and money laundering following a notice of
motion being served. There are in total 15 proposed charges: 11 against Mukesh Valabhji and five
against Sarah Rene, including one charge in which they are jointly charged.

Amendments made by the National Assembly to the Anti-Corruption Act gave the authority to the
ACCS to prosecute conspiracy cases that the Attorney General already retained, thereby closing
an administrative loophole in the legislation.

The case has been adjourned until 30th June for the accused parties to consider their pleas.

Charges were withdrawn against Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and Lekha Nair, pursuant to
agreements in principle between each of them and the Commissioner of the ACCS that they will
give evidence for the prosecution in this case.

The ACCS withdrew the charges currently brought against Laura Valabhji, pending further
investigation, responses from foreign jurisdictions to its numerous evidential requests and
financial details, and a review of the digital material seized in the investigation ? of which there
are over 500 seized electronic devices - and the sift of the sequestered material that is awaiting
consideration of a legal professional privilege review.

ACCS Commissioner May De Silva said ?The substituted criminal charges put before the court
today are a continuation of the complex and extensive investigation the ACCS is undertaking into
the decades that Mukesh Valabhji held public office. Throughout this lengthy investigation we
continue to uncover more evidence, and as other citizens of Seychelles come forward, we will
leave no stone unturned, wherever in the world it is has been hidden. The message must go out
that crime does not pay and that no one is untouchable.?

ENDS
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The Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS) was established under the Anti-Corruption Act 2016 which
gives it authority to investigate, detect and prevent corrupt practices. It is a self-governing, neutral and independent
body which is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
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