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Cameroon – Jean Louis Beh Mengue: Former DG of the Telecoms Regulatory Agency burst into tears in court, says he won’t die alone, and lists names.

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Written by Gisele Alba

The case of Jean Louis Beh Mengue, the former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA) promises much more interesting episodes. Wednesday at the Special Criminal Court (SCC) during the reading of the charges restrained against him, he burst into tears. It is in this sense that on Thursday before the judges, he declared that he will not die alone. Right after this declaration Jean Louis Beh Mengue began to deliver his accomplices in this case of embezzlement of public funds. Among those mentioned were Biyiti Bi Essam, former Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Mohaman Sani Tani, former Director General of ELECAM.

In principle he was to be remanded in custody on Thursday following the prosecutor’s request to the SCC for the 193 billion CFA F case file against him by the CONSUPE, the Superior State Control. He was allegedly put under house arrest. He even begged the police officers to wait until nightfall so that the neighborhood shouldn’t see him being taken away.

It should be remembered that apart from the conflict of authority that he sometimes had with Minette Libom Li Likeng, Jean Louis Beh Mengue was pinned in 2013 for poor management by the superior state control (CONSUPE). In July 2013, CONSUPE published a report in which the TRA, through its DG, caused the State to lose several billions of public funds.

The controller indicated, for example, the management of the respective financial penalties of CFAF 4 140 440 000 and CFAF 523 520 000 imposed on Orange Cameroon S.A and MTN Cameroon for several shortfalls. Jean Louis Beh Mengue is accused of having taken a number of initiatives with consequences, without the knowledge of the Board of Directors.

While recovery procedures were under way by the competent services of the TRA, the former DG, in breach of the regulations on the recovery of State debts, addressed correspondence asking operators to pay only 1 250,000,000 FCFA out of the 140,440,000 FCFA of penalties inflicted, and to invest the remainder, 2,890,440,000 FCFA, for the development of their telephone network.

Jean Louis Beh Mengue is also asked the operator MTN to pay nothing on the 523,520,000 FCFA due and to invest the sum in the development of its electricity network. In total, 8 billion CFA francs were transferred to mobile operators.

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Gisele Alba

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