Saturday, August 25, 2012

World Bank to help Senegal probe for ill-gotten gains

The World Bank has signed on to help Senegal recover ill-gotten gains, as the country's new government questions members of the former regime for fraud, an official at the lender said Saturday.

Senegal asked the Washington-based lender in June to help recover public assets moved abroad under the presidency of Abdoulaye Wade, who lost a reelection bid in March to current President Macky Sall after 12 years in office.

Swiss Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet will head the initiative and is expected in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Monday, a local official for the lender told AFP, without specifying the length of the mission.

The World Bank launched its Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative in 2007 in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to help developing nations recover assets stolen by corrupt leaders and invest the returned funds in development programmes.

The announcement of the Senegal mission comes amid a probe for ill-gotten gains that has seen police question Senate speaker Pape Diop, former energy minister Samuel Sarr and other former members of the Wade regime.

Many former ministers live in lush villas and have assets that cannot be explained by their monthly salaries.

The Sall government created a special court to look into the fraud, with former officials of state companies under investigation or behind bars.


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