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Cameroon – Embezzlement at BICEC: Cameroonian justice is interested in the role played by the French DGs of this subsidiary of the BPCE group

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Written by Deckson N.

Pascal Rebillard, Jean-Pierre Schiano and Pierre Mahé (photo), all former directors general of the Banque internationale du Cameroun pour l’épargne et le crédit (BICEC), and Alain Pierre Louis Ripert, Cameroonian of the French banking group BCPE; Are expected at the Wouri High Court in Douala on 22 November and tomorrow 23 November 2016.

According to our sources, the interested parties will have to explain to an investigating judge on the case of misappropriation of a total amount of more than 50 billion CFA francs at the BICEC over a period of 12 years. This scandal was revealed at the beginning of this year by an internal investigation and then confirmed by the controllers of COBAC, the regulator of the banking sector in the Cemac zone.

Since August 8, 2016, Cameroon’s Innocent Ondoa Nkou, former deputy director general of BICEC, who has held the post for nearly 20 years, is being held in the central prison of Douala as part of the case. He is incarcerated with his compatriots Samuel Ngando Mbongue, former head of accounting and treasury at BICEC, and Martin Nyamsi, a service provider to the bank.

So far, none of the French officials, all of whom have held the post of DG of BICEC over the period during which the embezzlements were committed, were cited, let alone worried. To the observation, their recent convocation by the Cameroonian justice could give a different orientation to this file.

All the more so since many observers were surprised at the outbreak of this affair that such a network could have existed within a banking institution for as long as 12 years, without the multiple Internal and external controls imposed on the banks allow to discover the theft.

As a reminder, on the basis of suspicions following internal control, a survey carried out in March 2016 within this bank by COBAC made it possible to expose a network “involving external service providers with internal complicities“.

This network, according to the findings of the investigation, caused BICEC estimated financial loss of more than CFAF 50 billion over a period of 12 years; By means of numerous overcharges and fictitious invoices, regularly paid to providers “via a circuit outside procedure”.

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Deckson N.

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