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Africa

Former Senegalese and Chinese top officials arrested in alleged bribery scam

media Cheik Tidiane Gadio, former Foreign minister of Senegal DR

A major Chinese oil company has denied involvement in a multi-million dollar corruption scandal but US investigators insist that a bribery scheme had been set up since 2014 to secure businesses for the company in Africa. 

US officials last weekend arrested the former Foreign minister of Senegal and Hong Kong's ex-home affairs secretary for running the alleged scam. 

Former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho and Senegalese diplomat Cheikh Tidiane Gadio are accused of having offered a $2 million bribe to the president of Chad to obtain valuable oil rights for CEFC China Energy.

Gadio is alleged to have played a crucial role, by connecting Ho with Chad's head of state - President Idriss Déby - and by telling the President about the $2 million bribe offer.

In exchange, Ho allegedly compensated Gadio with 400 000 dollars.

Patrick Ho, who today runs an NGO entirely financed by CEFC China Energy, is accused of setting up a similiar scheme in Uganda.

The US Justice department says Ho bribed a former Uganda Foreign minister and promised rewards to the minister and to Uganda's head of state, Yoweri Museveni.

This, in exchange for helping CEFC China Energy to get business advantages, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank.

About $1 million linked to these 2 cases are said to have been transfered via New York, which is what led to the involvement of the US justice system.

The goverment of Chad has told RFI that accusations against its President were "pure fantasy".

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