Bribery in Mauritius is governed under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002 (POCA) (the Act). The Act establishes an Independent Commission Against Corruption and provides for the prevention and punishment of corruption and fraud. ICAC (International Civil Aviation Commission)
The Act takes effect on April 1, 2002, and applies to activity that occurs after that date.
A bribe is the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value with the intent of influencing an official’s action in the discharge of their public or legal duties; something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to a person in a position of trust with the intent of influencing that person’s views or conduct.
A bribe can be in the form of cash, personal favors, a promise of later payment, or anything else that the recipient considers useful.
When a public official seeks, receives, or gains enjoyment from another person in the performance of their tasks and obligations, whether for themselves or for anyone else (Section 4 POCA).
When a person provides, agrees to provide, or proposes a gratification to a public official in the course of their duties and responsibilities (Section 5 POCA).
Any person who accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, gratification in exchange for concealing an offense, screening any other person from legal proceedings for an offense, not prosecuting any other person in relation to an alleged offense, or abandoning or withdrawing, or obtaining or attempting to obtain the withdrawal of a prosecution against any other person (Section 6 POCA).
Any public figure who uses their office or position for personal gain or the benefit of another (Section 7 POCA).
Any person who gives, proposes to give, or offers gratification to a public official for:
voting or abstaining from voting, or having voted or abstained from voting, in favor of or against any measure, resolution, or question submitted to the public body at a meeting of which they are a member, director, or employee;
performing or abstaining from performing, or assisting in procuring, expediting, delaying, hindering, or preventing, or having performed or abstained from performing, or assisting in procuring, expediting, delaying, hindering, or preventing, an act of a public body of which they are a member, director, or employee; or having performed or abstained from performing, or assisting in procuring, expediting, delaying, hindering, or preventing, an act of assisting in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided in procuring, or having aided inPOCA Section 8(1)).
Any public official who solicits or accepts a gratification for one of the reasons listed in section 8 (a), (b), or (c) (1). (POCA Section 8(2))
Anyone who provides or offers gratification to a public official in exchange for the public official’s use of influence in:
promoting, executing, or procuring a contract with a public entity for the performance of a work, the provision of a service, or the acquisition of supplies;
payment of the fee stipulated in a contract with a government agency; or
securing an advantage for that individual or any other person under a work or procurement contract.
Any public official who solicits, accepts, or obtains gratification from another person, for themselves or for others, in exchange for assisting or influencing (a), (b), or (c) as defined in section 12(1) POCA.
Any public official who solicits, accepts, or obtains a gratification for themselves or for another person commits a crime: from a person they know is involved in any procedure or transaction they are conducting, or who has any link to their functions or the functions of any public official to whom they aresubordinate or superior; or from someone they know is interested in or connected to the individual in question
If the bribery took place outside of Mauritius, a court in Mauritius will have jurisdiction over the matter, regardless of whether the act is punishable in the country where it was committed, if the person charged:
is a Mauritius citizen; is ordinarily resident in Mauritius; was arrested in Mauritius or in its territorial waters, or on board a ship or aircraft registered or required to be registered in Mauritius at the time the offense was committed; is a company incorporated or registered as such under any law in Mauritius; or is a company incorporated or registered as such under any law in Mauritius at the time the offense was committed.
is a Mauritius-based corporation or an unincorporated entity that operates in Mauritius.
When a person does a bribery act outside of Mauritius, regardless of whether the act constitutes an infraction or not at the time of commission, the act is held to have been committed also in Mauritius if:
A public entity, a business, or any other person in Mauritius is affected or is intended to be affected by the act;
a person is discovered in Mauritius; or
If Mauritius refuses to extradite a person for any reason, or if there is no application to extradite that person,
Bribery offenses can be tried in Mauritius against public officials (Section 4 POCA), private individuals, and legal entities, including companies (Section 5 POCA).
POCA, on the other hand, has no provision for a penalty in the case of a corporate defendant. This gap in the legislation was identified in a 2013 case, and it was emphasized that it could only be filled by the legislature. The law has not been changed yet.
The law in Mauritius does not clearly provide for a company’s culpability for bribery committed by a subsidiary.
Yes, facilitation payments are bribery since they are a kind of reward given to a public official in order to speed up the performance of an act in the performance of the public official’s functions or obligations.
The legal framework does not clearly prohibit political and charity contributions; however, any contribution provided or received with the goal of persuading or rewarding someone for acting inappropriately will be considered a bribe.
Corporate hospitality is not subject to any legal constraints.
If there was enough evidence to establish that the hospitality was a bribe as specified in this memorandum, it would be determined if it constituted a bribe.
Charges under sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 12 have no particular statutory defenses.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has established a Zero Influence standard that public officials must evaluate before accepting any gift or hospitality. Accepted gifts and hospitality must pass the test. Officials in charge of public safety should guarantee that the test’s two prerequisites are met. In any case, the public official must always report any offer of gratification to their immediate supervisor or senior authorities, whether accepted or not (Guidelines on Gift and Gratifications for public officials – ICAC).
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is charged with a wide range of tasks and powers, including the ability to influence a shift in attitude and mindset that will make corruption more difficult to perpetrate. Its responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
accept and consider any complaint of a corruption offense; detect or investigate any act of corruption; and investigate the conduct of any public official that is associated with or conducive to corruption, in its view.
Bribery charges investigated by the police, whether committed overseas or in Mauritius, are prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
For the following bribery offenses, an individual shall be subject to penal imprisonment for a period of not more than ten years if convicted:
Bribery of a government official (section 5 POCA)
A public official who uses his position for personal gain (section 7 POCA)
Bribery of or by a public official to sway a public body’s decision (sections 8(1) and 8(2) POCA)
Bribery in the procurement of contracts (POCA sections 12(1) and 12(2))
Accepting a gift for nefarious motives (section 15 POCA)
Taking pleasure in shielding the perpetrator from punishment (section 6 POCA)
If the offense is a felony, you might face a sentence of up to 5 years in jail.
If the offense is a misdemeanor, the penalty is a year in jail; if the offense is a felony, the penalty is a year in prison; if the offense is a felony, the penalty is a year in prison;
If the offense is a contravention, the penalty is a maximum of six months in prison.