Mauritius to investigate regulator’s dealings with Angolan businessman
Port Louis — Mauritius’s president ordered a commission of inquiry to investigate regulators’ dealings with Angolan businessman Álvaro Sobrinho and the local media’s leaking of her bank records.
President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim ordered the probe two days after saying she "inadvertently" spent money from the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), founded by Sobrinho, on "out-of-pocket expenses" during missions for the charity.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth accused Gurib-Fakim of back-pedaling on a pledge to stand down over the incident and vowed to take unspecified action. The commission of inquiry will be headed by lawyer Sir Hamid Moollan.
Sobrinho is the CEO of the London-based PEI, a charity that looks to advance science in Africa. Gurib-Fakim was on the board of the PEI on a pro-bono basis from November 2015 until March 2017.
Gurib-Fakim said on Wednesday that she used a payment card issued to her by the PEI in 2016 that was identical to a bank card she already had. After informing the London-based charity she’d used their card for about $27,000 of expenses, she immediately reimbursed the institute along with other costs incurred during her mission.
No one answered the phone when Bloomberg called the PEI seeking comment from Sobrinho, and the institute didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail.