Why French tycoon Vincent Bolloré faces probe over African business practices


The French businessman Vincent Bolloré has been placed under formal investigation over the alleged corruption of foreign public officials and complicity in corruption. The probe into the well-connected businessman, who has amassed much of his fortune through his dealings in Africa, relates to how one of its companies won the concessions to run the ports at Lomé in Togo and Conakry in Guinea, and the use of his communications firm in the electoral campaigns of African leaders. Martine Orange gives the background to the allegations.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Up until now Vincent Bolloré had seemed untouchable. But on April 25th, 2018, the Frenchman whose business empire has strong roots in Africa was placed under formal investigation by French judges Serge Tournaire and Aude Buresi over allegations of corruption of foreign officials, complicity in breach of trust and forgery and the use of false instruments. The tycoon and several of his group's executives had been questioned in custody the previous day as part of the investigation, which relates to how the concessions to run the West African ports of Lomé in Togo and Conakry in Guinea were awarded in 2009 and 2010 respectively.