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Eight detained in Gabon in anti-corruption crackdown

Cars drive down a highway beneath the skyline of Libreville, Gabon's capital, on January 16, 2017.
Cars drive down a highway beneath the skyline of Libreville, Gabon's capital, on January 16, 2017. Mike Hutchings, Reuters

Oil-rich Gabon has detained eight people for theft and money laundering following a crackdown on corruption, the prosecutor for the capital Libreville said Thursday. 

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“Eight people have been placed in preventive detention,” Andre Patrick Roponat said, adding that they were accused of “siphoning off public funds and money laundering.”

The pro-government newspaper L’Union reported on Wednesday that more than 85 billion CFA francs ($142 million), have “evaporated” over the past two years from the funds of the Gabon Oil Company (GOC).

Accusations that scores of millions of euros have disappeared from state coffers swirl around top officials, including Brice Laccruche Alihanga, who for more than two years served as cabinet director to President Ali Bongo.

Laccruche was dismissed from this post on November 7, at the start of a wave of arrests in the central African country, but he announced on social media that he would undertake a new mission for “the president and for Gabon”.

The current investigations are a follow-up to Operation Mamba, an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2017 by Bongo, who has been battling serious illness.

(AFP)

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