Investigation opened in France against Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby

Investigation opened in France against Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby

After Teodorin Obiang in Equatorial Guinea, the Bongos in Gabon and the Sassou Nguesso in Congo-Brazzaville, it is now the President of Chad Mahamat Idriss Deby who is the target of an investigation opened in Paris on suspicion of ill-gotten gains in France.

A preliminary investigation was opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) in“We hope that this investigation will establish the truth and dispel the intention to harm the reputation of the President of the Republic of Chad, the new man of values ​​who led a politically and historically successful transition,” January for embezzlement of public funds and receiving stolen goods “concerning the clothing expenses of the presidency of the Republic of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno”a source close to the case told AFP on Tuesday.

Armand Gambaye Ndjegoltar Ndjerakor, communications advisor to the Chadian presidency, told AFP.

Mr. Ndjegoltar referred to the book “Bedouin” written by Mahamat Idriss Déby, in which the latter claims not to have “never been a fan of costumes”, preferring them “from afar our traditional clothes” and denounces a “political manipulation” orchestrated by an advisor in charge of presidential affairs and former minister of state.

According to his story, it was the latter who brought him a suit “a whole series of suits” that he wore “two or three times”, claiming to be unaware of how they were purchased.

900,000 euros worth of clothes

The investigations were launched following a Mediapart article in December 2023 which reported more than 900,000 euros spent in Paris by the strongman of Chad on suits, shirts and other luxury clothing thanks to payments received from a Chadian company via a bank.

According to Mediapart, “The payments were made from a mysterious company called MHK Full Business, registered in N’Djamena, and with an account at the Banque commerciale du Chari (BCC), one of the eight banking establishments approved in Chad.”

The funds were transferred on December 1, 2021 and then on May 4, 2023, according to the investigative site.

The investigation could be extended to the real estate assets held by the Déby family and its entourage in France, according to Challenges.

The investigation has been entrusted to the Central Office for the Suppression of Serious Financial Crime (OCRGDF), according to the source.

General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno was elected president of Chad on May 6 in a vote highly contested by the opposition and international NGOs, three years after taking power at the head of a military junta.

Aged 37, he was proclaimed head of state by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, upon the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, killed by rebels on his way to the front after having ruled Chad with an iron fist for 30 years.

Other investigations are underway in Paris into suspicions of ill-gotten gains by the families of African leaders, such as the Bongos in Gabon and the Sassou Nguessos in Congo-Brazzaville.

In the Gabonese section, 18 people are under investigation, including ten children of former President Omar Bongo, who died in 2009, the former Miss France and the BNP bank. Nearly 70 million euros of seizures have been made in this case, which is nearing its end.

Teodorin Obiang, eldest son of Guinean President Teodoro Obiang, was the first foreign leader to be definitively convicted of “ill-gotten gains” in 2021.

A thousand French soldiers are still stationed in Chad and President Emmanuel Macron was the only Western head of state present at the funeral of Idriss Déby Itno.

Since 2021, the country has been the subject of violent, sometimes bloody, “repression” of opposition, according to NGOs.

Chad, a poor, landlocked country in the Sahel that has suffered from prolonged droughts, has a population of 18 million. According to the World Bank, 42.3% of the population lives below the national poverty line, even though this country has been an oil producer since 2003.

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