Police know of 14 Seychellois being held in Middle Eastern countries, official says
The Seychelles Police Force has recorded 14 cases of Seychellois who are being detained against their will in Middle East countries, said a top official on Tuesday.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Errol Fonseka, made this statement when answering questions dealing with national security and the police force in the National Assembly.
Gervais Henrie, the elected member of the Mont Buxton central district, sought an update on reports that there are several Seychellois who are being detained against their will in Iran.
The Police had issued a statement on June 24 in which the Commissioner of Police, Ted Barbe, confirmed that the Police “has in its possession a video that is being circulated, where a Seychellois man is imploring a certain individual here in Seychelles for his freedom.”
“We believe that the video is authentic, and as such have opened an investigation on the matter. We also want to confirm that there are reports and registered cases relating to Seychellois who are being detained against their will in certain Middle East countries,” the Police said.
Fonseka said that “at this moment in time, there are 14 cases on the police’s records, seven out of which are being worked on… Among these seven cases, there are two that have been completed and finalised. One of the two cases is completed and at the Attorney General’s office and the other is before the court where a suspect has been charged for the offence of human trafficking.”
The Minister said that as the matter is of national security, he could not provide any further information though he proposed to meet with the National Security Committee of the National Assembly to discuss these cases.
The first time that this matter was put to the public’s attention was during a press conference on August 20 by Danny Faure, the former president of Seychelles.
“We have concrete information today that certain Seychellois boats are in the drug fetching business with boats from Iran. The intelligence information revealed that Seychellois have boarded the Iranian boats and those Seychellois are today in Iran,” Faure said.
He explained that those Seychellois will only be released when the money for the drugs is paid, and had called on anyone including family who may be in contact with associated Iranians to notify the police force.