Total misconception at the Brasse family at Camp-Lamour in Grand-Baie. No one was aware of the double life of Mike, the man “without history”. Yet, the 45-year-old skipper is among the three Mauritians arrested in Reunion Island on Friday November 11 for alleged drug trafficking. He is the owner of the Ilôt Gabriel yacht.
It is in the modest residence that L’express met the father, the son, the daughter and the daughter-in-law of Mike Brasse. The two-and-six-year-old skipper’s grandchildren play in the dimly lit drawing room. The paint peels in places, water seeped into the room, leaving traces on the ceiling.
“Il était un exemple pour mon fils. Mais nous avons dû lui expliquer ce qui est arrivé à son grand-père,” says Orishinie Brasse, the daughter-in-law of Mike Brasse. Since Mike’s arrest, she calls the police station daily in Reunion Island to try to get his news. “Mais nous ne savons rien pour l’instant. Nous savons simplement qu’il n’a pas de droit de visite.” In any case, she says, the family can not afford a trip to the sister island.
Her husband Jean-Michel Brasse is in the same state. “Je savais qu’il voyageait, mais je ne savais pas quel genre de vie qu’il menait. Il n’habitait pas avec nous ici,” said the 26-year-old skipper. “Regardez-nous. Nous sommes des gens pauvres. Si nou ti ladan, ou krwar nou ti pou viv koumsa ?,” says his wife.
On the fateful Friday November 11, Mike Brasse called his son to inform the family that he was arrested. Jean-Michel was already at work and it was his wife who taught him the news. “Depuis, je vis un cauchemar,” says the son of the skipper.
He went to the Grand Bay police station on Saturday to try to find out a little more, but came back empty-handed. “Tout le monde l’appréciait par ici. On ne comprend vraiment pas pourquoi il a fait ça,” he sighs.
The young man says the situation is “very hard” for them right now. People’s eyes on them have changed. “Dimounn get mwa koumadir mwési mo ladan alor ki mo pé rinté pou mo fami,” fulminates Jean-Michel.
“Li ki fotif, pa nou”
At the same time, he said that he had not seen his father for more than a week. Even when Mike Brasse went abroad the previous times, he did not inform his family. “Je ne sais pas ce qu’il a derrière la tête. Cela ne nous concerne pas. Li ki fotif, pa nou,” reiterates Jean-Michel. He looks at his grandfather standing in a corner. His face bears the marks of time and fatigue. Clark Brasse, Mike’s father, lost his 45-year-old eldest son, who died of cancer a few years ago. “La linn perdi enn lot garson mem laz,” murmurs Jean-Michel, annoyed.
Clency Brasse, 72, is stoic in front of this event. He saw his son early last week, and he was normal. “Bondié tandé, zamé mo ti koné ki li pé fer,” exclaims the old man. According to him, his son was quiet but “pa koné ki ti éna dan li”.
Mike had left his father’s house a few years ago to settle in Cap-Malheureux with his daughter and since then they did not often see each other. The girl, aged 17, returned to Mauritius a month ago. She went to Reunion Island in January for her studies but had to return home sooner than expected. Like her brother, she did not see this blow coming. Like her other relatives, she swims in complete misunderstanding.
A Portlouisian among the three detainees
Who is the third Mauritian suspect in the investigation of the seizure of Rs 639 million of heroin on the “Sweet Love Mama” boat in Sainte Rose on Friday? The authorities of Reunion Island have not yet revealed the identity of the individual. But what we know, for the time being, is that he is a sheet-metal worker from Port-Louis, aged 36.
A team of Mauritian investigators, led by Deputy Police Commissioner Choolun Bhojoo, is to set sail on Reunion Island to shed light on this matter. But it is up to us that the endorsement of the office of the police commissioner is expected to decide the composition of the team.
The Director General of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Commissioner of Police also decided to set up a working committee in the wake of the drug seizure in Reunion Island. While the ADSU will deal with the drug section, the ICAC will tackle money laundering.
In addition, the ICAC has obtained a “attachment order” for two boats at La Gaulette and Caudan Waterfront. As a result, they can not be used by the owners during the investigation. It is based on some information obtained since mid-October that these investigators suspect that the boats were used for drug trafficking. And after verifying their information through their Intelligence Unit, they were finally able to go on the offensive in early November.
Other investigations into drug trafficking are also underway. Notably in Albion, where a 52-year-old man is the subject of a “Net Worth Analysis”. Investigators want to understand how he has become rich. And the investigation of a woman arrested with foreign currency continues.