Senegal ex-leader's son on remand

2013-04-18 13:11

Dakar - The son of Senegal's former leader Abdoulaye Wade was in jail on Thursday after being charged with corruption over the amassing of a fortune valued at more than $1bn, a ministry of justice source said.

Karim Wade, who held a number of cabinet posts during his father's presidency, was sent to Dakar's main prison under heavy police escort just before midnight, witnesses said, after he was charged with "illicit enrichment".

Seven alleged accomplices also placed on remand include a Senegalese businessman of Lebanese origin, a former head of airport operator Aeroports du Senegal and two officials from airport ground handling company Aviation Service Senegal (Senegal AHS), the ministry source told AFP.

They have been charged with "complicity in illicit enrichment", along with Wade's former communications adviser and two others about whom no information has been given.

Wade is alleged to have acquired companies and real estate at home and abroad by corrupt means, including Dubai Port World, which runs the port container terminal in Senegal's capital Dakar and Moroccan bank BCME.

The 44-year-old's arrest on Monday came just hours after his legal team had filed a dossier of more than 2 000 pages in response to an order from Senegal's anti-corruption court to explain the provenance of assets allegedly worth over $1.4bn.

Chief anti-corruption prosecutor Alioune Ndao said he had ordered Wade's detention after deciding he was not satisfied with the "relevance" of the dossier.

Wade, who was not present at the court, denies corruption and says his vast fortune is entirely legitimate.