His father Nundun Gopee was close to the Jugnauth. The son retained these precious relationships and benefited enormously from them. Loans, not geometric, state leased land, roads… Government’s last kindness, MIC loans.
With Akai Fisheries Ltd, it is the name of Avinash Gopee as beneficiary of the largesse of the Mauritius Investment Corporation (MIC) that has tainted this institution. First because his companies did not seem to meet the criteria for getting the money out of central bank reserves, and second because his plans had not been approved by the MIC’s Investment Committee. In any case, this is what Xavier Duval said at his press conference last Tuesday. And Avinash Gopee has other real estate projects underway, such as Asmara’s at Pilot Saltworks in Rivière-Noire for which he has been equally spoiled by the government. We went there on Monday.
A new road at a cost of Rs 350 million has been built leading to this residential complex. It is not known if promoters Beachcomber, Avinash Gopee and Hyvec contributed to the funding. The 2019 audit report noted this and demanded that these developers reimburse the state for their share in the construction of this road. “The government has taken it upon itself to initiate the damage to Les Salines Rivière-Noire by undertaking the construction of the road that crosses the site and all this without EIA, in complete opacity. You also wonder if in addition to the damage, have all the promoters paid their contribution for the construction of this road ”? asks AKNL’s Carina Gounden.
And it’s also unclear how the Asmara project got its EIA certificate with its 60 units …
Erosion at sight
“17 townhouses, seven penthouses, 28 apartments and eight villas, this oceanview residence within lushly landscaped gardens enjoy unobstructed views in Les Salines facing the sandy beach of La Preneuse.” You can read this on the Asmara Beachfront Residences website. However, for any sandy beach, we found only a narrow strip of sand covered with corals and debris brought by the waves. What is most worrying is the speed at which this beach is eroding because it is devoid of trees and other batatran creepers, which were used to hold back the sand. “Rising waters, climate change we will be told,” quips an environmentalist.
In fact, this entire Pilot Saltworks region is considered a sensitive area. Swamps, flood zones, mangroves, mudflats, everything goes there and will be covered with concrete, says Percy Yip Tong, whom we contacted. He explains to us that during the rainy season, water collects everywhere. He wonders if these luxury villas would not be right on the water when it rains …
Welcome to the weapon ax But there’s more. For Percy Yip Tong, Asmara’s advertising is false. “We show a white beach, turquoise water and the possibility of swimming or kitesurfing there. In fact, the water is muddy because the beach is located in front of the Rivière-Noire estuary, which carries mud from the mountains and other areas. ” It also indicates to us the presence in great numbers of the formidable ax of arms, a kind of cone-shaped shell buried in the sand and of which only the sharp edge like a weapon protrudes. “You can’t walk in water without risking serious injury unless you put on rubber boots.” Villas in front of a visibly eroding beach, the presence in the water of ax weapons and other creatures like the cord that sticks to your skin, a muddy lagoon and the incessant ballet of noisy boats. “But all of that is not mentioned on the site,” Percy Yip Tong tells us. “Besides, the locals don’t swim here …”
Unless, he adds worried, “you put a bulldozer through it to remove all living organisms and dig a channel. But this they are not allowed to do. But we never know.” If they do, many fishermen and gatherers of those same ax weapons will be deprived of these shells. In fact, we ran into two young girls, Nathalia and Juliana, who go out daily to pick up the weapon axes they clean before selling them. When they can’t find customers, they use them for their meals. What will they and fisherman Michael do if these resources disappear?
By building this access road, the government made a first victim: the Salines Pilot, which had to give in to the sirens of “development.” The country must now import salt. Another step towards food self-sufficiency! Rumors are circulating that three of these villas have already been booked.
About the father
Nundun Gopee, the patriarch, was allegedly involved in other trafficking in the 1980s. The report of the Rault Commission of Inquiry into Drugs noted the possessions Nundun Gopee had at the time and which could not be explained. by his income as a contractor. Justice Maurice Rault found on page 25 that the contractor was a drug dealer. But in October 1987, the Supreme Court was to clear Nundun Gopee by removing the section concerning him in the Rault report.