(Business in Cameroon) - On July 1, 2020, Afriland First Bank Democratic Congo (CD), one of the eleven subsidiaries of the banking group founded by Cameroonian billionaire Paul K. Fokam, lodged a complaint against the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa and British NGO Global Witness.
"A complaint has been filed in Paris, France, against Global Witness and the PPLAAF about how evidence was gathered in this case. It was filed in the name of the Afriland bank since that is where the files were stolen. We have quite a bit of evidence to suggest that the stolen files were tampered with, and we have some very specific evidence about that. We also have documents that show the very fraudulent way in which some of the testimonies were obtained. So, an investigation is going to be opened and it is essential to shedding light on the way these NGOs work," explained Mr. Moutet, the lawyer appointed by the banking group, on Radio France International (RFI).
The complaint contains a range of charges. These range from theft, forgery, breach of trust, blackmail, private corruption, slanderous denunciation, receiving stolen goods, and breach of banking secrecy. As a reminder, the complaint filed in Paris by the banking group of Cameroonian Paul K. Fokam follows the revelation, a few days ago, of a case of fraud and corruption in which Afriland First Bank CD is expressly listed.
The bank is accused by the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa and NGO Global Witness of helping Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler continue operations in DR Congo through an international money-laundering network, despite US government sanctions against him.
"As always, in Congo, it is the financial system that, unfortunately, allows this kind of misdeed. Now, Bank Afriland, which is a subsidiary of a Cameroonian bank, has suddenly gone from being a small bank in the DRC to be one of the largest thanks possibly to Gertler and his trusted men," Gabriel Bourdon Fattal, a member of the PPLAAF, told RFI.
All these accusations are rejected by Afriland First Bank CD, which instead accuses its accusers of having obtained and then tampered with confidential bank documents, probably stolen by two former employees who have now resigned.
Brice R. Mbodiam