Scots couple attacked by thugs in Mauritius speak out about police failures following murder of Janice Farman
A Scots couple who were attacked by machete-wielding thugs in Mauritius where Janice Farman was murdered have said the brutal killing has given them the courage to speak about their ordeal for the first time.
Ray Ramjan, 69, suffered knife wounds to his arm and chest and his wife Jenny, 66, was knocked to the ground during a robbery in the Mauritius capital Port Louis.
Bleeding and bruised, Ray and his wife went to a police station to report the crime but officers initially refused to take a statement saying there was little point because there were no witnesses.
Just over a week ago, Farman, 47, was robbed, beaten and asphyxiated at her home in Mauritius in front of her 10-year-old son. Two 25-year-old men have appeared in court charged with the murder. An 18-year-old man was arrested on Friday.
Ray, who was born in Mauritius, described the slaying of Farman as “horrific” and said many locals live in fear – but the majority of crimes are not recorded by police to protect the island’s reputation as a paradise for holidaymakers.
The retired IT consultant moved to Scotland in 1969 to study and met his wife Jenny, a former community nurse, who is from Glasgow. The couple, who have three children, live in the south side of the city and spend four months a year in Port-Louis.
Ray and Jenny were targeted by two machete-wielding thugs on motorbikes in a midnight attack outside their apartment in the capital city six years ago.
One went to my husband and one to me. I was backing away and I fell over and landed on my back. I started to scream but not a single person came to help. I lay on my arm to hide my rings from him but he wrestled my bag from me.
The other one came at me and grabbed my gold chain. I pushed him away but he hit me on my side and on my hand with the machete. I was bleeding. They jumped back on their bikes and sped away. It was horrendous. I had nightmares for about five years afterwards. It could have been really nasty. We could have been killed.
The couple went to the police and were given short shrift by an officer who was sitting back in his chair with his feet on his desk.
He didn’t even want to take a statement even though I was bleeding and shaking.
Being from Glasgow, I banged on the desk and said ‘excuse me you are obliged to take a statement’. I was so angry. He did eventually, but it was with reluctance. The CID came to the house later but nothing has come of it and we’re still waiting for justice.
This sort of thing happens all the time. You can kill someone in Mauritius and literally get away with murder, if you have a good lawyer. If you have money you can be out on bail and then the case won’t come back to court for years. Then when it does, nothing happens. Mauritius is such a beautiful island and the people are really nice but the government is destroying it. There is no incentive for police to investigate crime. The fewer crimes they record the more likely you are to get promotion. That’s a directive from the government minister in charge. Something like 70 per cent of crimes go unrecorded. Unless you have connections with minister or the police nothing gets done and nothing will change unless we expose it.
Ray also took issue with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) in the UK which issued a statement to the Sunday Herald last week stating that the island nation has an “extremely low crime rate” and describing the murder of Farman as an “isolated incident”.
The idea that Mauritius has a low crime rate is completely false. These figures are deliberately distorted by the government. The ordinary people are terrified to go out at night. Lots of people barricade themselves in to their houses in 38 degrees heat in the evening to avoid getting robbed. There are so many no-go areas, like Albion where Janice Farman lived. Albion is not a nice area. You can’t walk around there when it gets dark.
A spokeswoman for the MTPA said last night:
Because of the low crime rate in Mauritius, we are always shocked and saddened to hear of any criminal incidences of this nature. Each year we welcome over 140,000 UK holidaymakers to our island and we pride ourselves on offering a safe and memorable holiday experience. In 2016, the number of criminal cases logged decreased by six per cent when compared year on year. All hotels and resorts in Mauritius take the safety of their guests incredibly seriously with security measures in place at all times, regardless of the extremely low crime rate on the island.
The Sunday Herald also contacted Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. Her secretary, Motichand Seebah, included the Sunday Herald in an email to the Commissioner of Police, which stated:
I am to request you to look into the case and inform the Sunday Herald accordingly. Kindly treat this matter as URGENT.
The commissioner did not respond.
A spokesman for the UK Government’s Foreign Office said:
Source: Sunday Herald
We are assisting the family of a British woman following her death in Mauritius, and are in contact with the local authorities.