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Chad unleashes major oil industry graft probe

Chad unleashes major oil industry graft probe

Chad unleashes major oil industry graft probe

Chad unleashes major oil industry graft probe

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  • Chad is one of the least developed countries in the world according to the United Nations.
  • It has been led for nearly 15 months by military officer Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.
  • Chad joined the ranks of African oil producers and exporters in the early 2000s.
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Investigators in Chad have swooped on senior officials in the oil industry and financial sectors in the last 10 days as part of a major anti-corruption operation, according to the government, which told AFP on Sunday.

According to Communications Minister Abderaman Koulamallah, the arrested suspects are accused of stealing around 13 billion CFA francs ($21 million) from the state-run oil company SHT and the country’s spy agencies.

Chad is one of the least developed countries in the world according to the United Nations, and joined the ranks of African oil producers and exporters in the early 2000s.

It remains a modest producer, producing 47 million barrels in 2021, according to the Chadian Observatory of Public Finance.

It has been led for nearly 15 months by military officer Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who proclaimed himself transitional president at the head of a junta of 15 generals a day after the death of his father, Marshal Idriss Deby Itno, who was killed in April 2021 fighting rebels.

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He had ruled the country with an iron fist for 30 years.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been freed in the context of the investigation into financial embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs at SHT,” Koulamallah told AFP.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary,” and some of the accused will eventually be brought before a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, he added.

Among those arrested are the powerful former private secretary of General Mahamat Deby, Idriss Youssouf Boy, a cousin and childhood friend of the head of state who is considered one of his closest aides.

As part of the investigation, Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were arrested and immediately fired from their positions as director general and deputy director of the SHT, respectively.

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SHT is a nationalized company that was founded in 2006.

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