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National Assembly

Handful of former ANB agents join police |29 March 2023

Thirteen of 81 officers who were made redundant following the abolition of the Anti-Narcotics Bureau (ANB) have since joined the Seychelles Police Force (SPF), and fifteen more are expected to join on May 1.

The figures were revealed to the National Assembly by Minister for Internal Affairs Errol Fonseka, and a delegation from the police, yesterday morning. This was in response to a Private Notice Question by leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Sebastien Pillay, who was seeking clarifications over why many former agents of the ANB remain without employment, despite having undergone the policing training.

The announcement to restructure the force, scrapping the ANB was made on June 17, 2022, in line with the Strategic Plan 2023-2025, Minister Fonseka clarified.

As per Assistant Superintendent and director general for human resources and administration Joseph Bibi, despite setting out the conditions for former agents to join the police, unfruitful negotiations led the administration to decide, in consultation with the Public Service Office (PSO), to have all ANB employees made redundant, as from December 31, 2022.

“Among the conditions which were put in place for those who want to stay on were that they would be employed as a Constable, that they follow a training course in policing, and that they would also be paid all their benefits,” Mr Bibi said.

“We observed that many former agents were not accepting these conditions for varying reasons. They would see a decrease in their salaries, their working conditions would be different, and their positions would not be the same since it is not in line with the Police Force Act, for positions such as team leader or principal officer,” Mr Bibi explained.

All officers were paid all of their dues, he added, in addition to being informed that they may apply to re-join the police, as had been offered to them before.

Only a handful have applied to join the police, Mr Bibi further stated. They have been posted to units whereby they are based at the airport, post office and the port, while other former agents are involved with important tasks, such as intelligence.

The additional fifteen officers are expected to join the force on May 1, once the pause on recruitment is lifted following the salary reforms which are set to take place in April.

Minister Fonseka pointed out that despite the recent successes in the fight against drugs, the situation remains alarming. It is therefore important that individuals recruited on the force must be the right fit for the job, possessing values such as discipline and honesty, he said. 

“We need people with the heart for this type of work,” Minister Fonseka added.

At present, 14 police officers, 11 military officers, six former ANB agents, and an officer of the prison are inmates at the Montagne Posée prison, he highlighted.

“All of these people should have been taking their jobs seriously. They are people who we have trusted, who we expected to have a good work ethic and they have failed us. It is for this reason that recruitment in these agencies must be done with precaution,” Minister Fonseka added.

In addition to its different units, the police is assisted by the military in its war on drugs.

Commissioner of Police Ted Barbe and deputy Commissioner Francis Songoire were also present for the sitting.


Laura Pillay

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