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Valabhji couple’s residence   Family members given two weeks to be heard |11 August 2022

The Supreme Court has ordered that any family member who would like to give their input into the case involving the property of Mukesh and Laura Valabhji, can do so within two weeks.

The order by presiding Judge Mohan Burhan was made yesterday afternoon, after both parties made their written submission last week.

Police Commissioner Ted Barbe, on behalf of the police, had filed a petition requesting that the court detain parcel B39, the residence property of Mukesh and Laura Valabhji at Morne Blanc, in relation to the ongoing firearms case.

The petition was filed under section 26 of the Prevention Terrorism Act 2004, which stipulates the seizure of weapons to be used for terrorism acts, including properties used for storing those weapons, taking into account that the Valabhji couple’s residence was used to store weapons for terrorism act.

When making the order at yesterday’s hearing, Judge Burhan said that any seizure of property affects the entire family so it was important that family members who wanted to be heard, be given the chance to come forward.

Judge Burhan also ordered that during this time, a piece of paper, stating that the property was under the process of being seized, should be displayed and visible to all.

The presiding judge has now set August 26 as the next date for the hearing.

Lawyers France Bonte and Samantha Aglae appeared on behalf of Mukesh and Laura Valabhji respectively, while state counsel Steven Powles was representing the police.

The residence of Mukesh and Laura Valabhji was raided by the police on November 18, 2021 where a large cache of fire arms, ammunitions and explosives were discovered.

The couple has been charged with the incident and they are still in custody.

Other persons also charged in the case are former high ranking army officer Leslie Benoiton, retired Brigadier and former Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) Leopold Payet and retired lieutenant colonel and presidential chief security officer Frank Marie, who are both out on bail.


Patsy Canaya


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