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25 Aug, 2021 18:39

‘Why are you in the women’s toilets?’ Police investigate alleged voyeurism using ‘hidden recording device’ at football association

‘Why are you in the women’s toilets?’ Police investigate alleged voyeurism using ‘hidden recording device’ at football association

Police are reportedly preparing a file on voyeurism for public prosecutors after a recording device was allegedly placed in the women's toilets at a national football association's headquarters.

World governing body FIFA is monitoring an escalating crisis at the Mauritius Football Association after a mobile phone was discovered hidden in the water tank of the female toilets at their base, a troubling report has claimed.

Two board members have stepped down after the association's administrative secretary, Mila Sinnasamy, claimed that the concealed phone was “placed in such a manner" that "if a lady removed her pants, her private parts would be clearly seen", according to the Guardian.

The outlet quoted a cleaner, Bindou Kistnairain, as saying she had seen the device in the toilet with its recording mode switched on three months before the complaint but feared “being fired and any retaliation” if she reported it.

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Kistnairain is said to have confided in a letter to the association's human resources team: “It all started when I went to the toilet (left one) to pick up a plastic bin in the blue basket.

"I saw the phone inside the basket. At first, I took it and then told myself, ‘maybe someone forgot their phone while peeing’ and did not find it strange.

"Some hours later, I wanted to fetch the telephone to ask who left it, [but] it was not there anymore. When I got out of the washroom, the general secretary was in the corridor.

“During the whole day, he kept walking in the corridor watching us and sat in the lounge next to the water dispenser to see who is going in and out [of] the washroom."

Kistnairain allegedly claimed that Didier Pragassa, who the account said had been general secretary since 2014 until he stepped down in August citing a health problem, had repeatedly been seen in the toilets, including on the day Sinnasamy found the phone.

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Pragassa is reported to have told a senior employee who is also said to have complained that he was "lost" when she asked him why he was in the toilet.

Mylene Hosanee, one of the colleagues Kistnairain is said to have told about her concerns, is reported to have suspected Pragassa was in the toilet on July 30.

She is later said to have written to the team: “I stopped shaking with fear and I ran into the corridor to tell my colleague that there was someone else in the ladies' toilet."

After allegedly discovering the phone, she is said to have recounted: “I asked him, ‘Didier, why are you in the women’s toilets?’”

The Guardian claims Pragassa told Hosanee he was opening the windows to improve the smell of the toilets. He is said not to have responded to requests for comment.

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Nazeer Bowud, the association's acting secretary general, told the report that an internal investigation had been launched.

“Some complaints said the phone was first seen in May,” he said. “Why did no-one tell me about it?

"Why didn’t they go and talk to the president? If some people didn’t trust me, I can understand, but why keep it silent?”

Bowud has admitted that he received a total of five letters in total after telling Sinnasamy to write to him. He denied that she had contacted police because of seeming inaction by the association.

“I encouraged people to go to the police," he insisted. "We need the truth and to know how many people are guilty, because there are different degrees of guilt.

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"If you allow it to happen, for example. We’re now installing cameras and we’re also changing the lockers in the toilets.

"We’re also keeping a record of every outside person coming to the office. We can’t allow it to happen any more.”

Hosanee is said to have recounted in her letter "reluctantly" telling Bowud that "everything was fine."

"Since that day, fear and shaking have formed part of my daily life at work," she allegedly wrote. "I feel, too, that my intimacy was violated, and I don’t feel secure at work any more.”

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