Authorities in Gabon this week arrested eight people who are suspected of theft and money-laundering in what is seen as follow-up to Operation Mamba, an anti-corruption campaign launched in 2017 by President Ali Bongo, who has been battling serious illness.
The revived anti-graft drive has seen a string of top-level arrests in the central African country, as accusations that millions of euros have disappeared from state coffers swirl around top officials.
“Eight people have been placed in preventive detention,” Gabon’s prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat said on Thursday, adding that they were accused of “siphoning off public funds and money-laundering.”
The group appeared before a judge on Wednesday along with eight others who were released on bail, Roponat said.
Pro-government newspaper L’Union reported this week that more than 85 billion CFA francs ($142 million) have “evaporated” over the past two years from the funds of the Gabon Oil Company.
60-year-old Bongo said last month he was “fiercely determined” to push ahead with the campaign against graft.
One high-profile political figure embroiled in the affair is Brice Laccruche Alihanga, Bongo’s former cabinet director who took the lead and spoke for the president after he suffered a stroke in 2018.
Laccuruche had held his cabinet post for more than two years but was dismissed on November 7, at the start of a wave of arrests.
He has announced on social media that he will undertake a new mission for “the president and for Gabon”.
Earlier this week, lawyers told AFP that presidential spokesman Ike Ngouoni and a dozen others were arrested and questioned over their ties to Alihanga.
The lawyers also insist that “there is a political vendetta” in the current process, a claim the country’s Prime Minister refutes.
During his months-long absence abroad for treatment, speculation over Bongo’s fitness surged and the army quashed a brief attempted coup.
Bongo has ruled Gabon since 2009, following the death of his father Omar Bongo, who was in power from 1967.
Woman wins child support after impregnating self with stolen billionaire’s sperm
A 40-year-old Las Vegas hotel cleaner won a child support battle against a 28-year-old millionaire who she never slept with.
Jane was 36 when she stole a used condom from a then 24-year-old tech millionaire’s hotel garbage can.
She inserted the semen inside her vagina and became pregnant with a baby boy who is now 4-years-old.
During the child support hearing, Jane confessed that she never slept with the young millionaire and that she impregnated herself with his sperm while she was cleaning his room.
“He left his bank statement on the nightstand in his hotel room and I saw it when I was cleaning, at the time I wanted a baby so bad and I thought it would be better if I had a baby with a rich man”
The paternity test where conducted and the young millionaire is the father. The court ordered him to pay the mother of the child $2 million for the 3 years of his son’s life he missed.
His lawyer says his client is planning to pursue other legal actions against the mother for stealing is personal belongings and violating his privacy.
Meanwhile, Jane had quit the hotel cleaning job and started a few businesses with her newfound fortune, she still has full custody of her child whom she named after his father.
DRC warlord nicknamed terminator slammed 30 years sentence by ICC
A former Congolese rebel leader has been sentenced to 30 years for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Fighters loyal to Bosco Ntaganda carried out gruesome massacres of civilians, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) said in July.
Ntaganda, nicknamed “Terminator”, was convicted on 18 counts including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
The sentence is the longest that the ICC has handed down.
Ntaganda was the first person to be convicted of sexual slavery by the ICC and overall the fourth person the court has convicted since its creation in 2002.
The Rwanda-born 46-year-old former rebel has been involved in numerous armed conflicts in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As North Korea test fires ballistic missiles, the World hopes Kim Jong-Un will keep his promise
The news comes after Pyongyang stated it had successfully test-fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile earlier in the month, warning that any possible aggression against North Korea would be deflected.
According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC), two unidentified objects were fired towards the sea to its east on Thursday. Seoul has noted that its military is closely monitoring the situation.
Tokyo also addressed the incident, stressing that Japan isn’t ruling out ballistic missile launches by North Korea.
Russian Envoy to Pyongyang Alexander Matsegora, however, noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will keep his promise not to test nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles until the end of this year.
North Korea has recently fired other unidentified projectiles from the coastal city of Wonsan. All the projectiles, launched this year followed a similar pattern and were closely monitored by Japan, South Korea, and the US. At the same time, Pyongyang insists it is ready to continue talks with the US, aiming for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
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