Gabon: wife of ousted President Ali Bongo charged with "money laundering"
New resounding arrest in Gabon: this Friday, September 29, 2023, nearly a month after the coup that brought down former President Ali Bongo, his wife, Sylvia Bongo, was charged. The former First Lady is officially accused of "money laundering, concealment, forgery, and use of forgery".
[File image] Gabon's First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba attends the Group A football match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations between Gabon and Guinea-Bissau at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonese in Libreville on January 14, 2017. AFP - GABRIEL BOUYS
By: RFI Follow
The noose has suddenly tightened around Sylvia Bongo. According to prosecutor André Patrick Roponat, the former First Lady of Gabon was heard on September 28, 2023 by an investigating judge. She is now charged with "money laundering, concealment, forgery, and use of forgery". She is also under house arrest.
Her situation is becoming clearer since, since the coup d'état of August 30, the Franco-Gabonese was held in an unknown place, without knowing her fate. His lawyers had filed a complaint in France for arbitrary detention and denounced a hostage-taking.
Many observers suspect Sylvia Bongo of being at the heart of a vast system of corruption at the top of the state.
" READ ALSO In Gabon, a double complaint filed against the former presidential couple Ali and Sylvia Bongo
Just after the coup, his collaborator Kim Oun was arrested at his home. A canteen filled with cash had been seized from his office, as had the contents of a safe. The man had stated that the sum belonged to Sylvia Bongo's financial cell, and that this office was directly attached to her.
In any case, this indictment is causing a reaction. Geoffroy Foumboula is a spokesman for a group of NGOs, which has announced a series of complaints against the former First Lady. He speaks of "very good news" and a "strong enough sign". He now hopes that "the investigation will be completed". According to him, justice must continue its actions, and go back to Ali Bongo himself.
" READ ALSO Elected officials of Paris want to convert "ill-gotten gains" of the Bongo family into social housing
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- Ali Bongo Ondimba