Guinea Bissau China bribe officials held

2012-01-08 18:26

Bissau - Police in Guinea Bissau arrested three energy ministry officials suspected of having accepted bribes from a Chinese company in return for fake mining permits, prosecutors said on Saturday.

The statement from prosecutors said all three officials had been questioned on Saturday on suspicion of corruption and faking the permits, but they did not name the Chinese company implicated.

One police officer close to the case said the company had been granted a permit to prospect in the northern Valera region but not to start full mining operations.

Customs officers seized three containers of rare mineral extracts from the region, near the border with Senegal as they were being loaded on to a China-bound vessel, police said.

Guinea Bissau, a former Portuguese colony which has been plagued by coups and violence since its independence in 1974, is rich in highly sought-after mineral resources.

Angola, China and Venezuela have all been seeking to mine their resources.