Mauritania: Police seizes passports of three top ex-officials of former President Ould Abdelaziz

The Mauritanian police in charge of economic affairs has confiscated the passports of three high ranking officials who worked under former President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz whose 11-year rule (2008-2019) of the North African country is being investigated over corruption and mismanagement allegations.

Last week, the country’s top prosecution ordered an investigation into the procurement of 109 projects such as the handling of oil revenues, the sales of state-owned property in Nouakchott, activities of Chinese fishing company Pully Hong Dong, and the liquidation of a state-owned firm that supplied food products across the country.

The projects were worth $1.14 billion and a sizeable amount of resources, 89 per cent of them, have vanished and pocketed by officials including ministers and individuals around the former President according a report produced by a parliamentary committee set up to investigate the country’s management over the past 10 years.

Several top officials including three former Prime Ministers and ministers in the current government of President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, himself former top right hand of the ex-leader, have been heard in connection with the investigation. They all reportedly confessed to the allegations but said they acted under Ould Abdelaziz’s instructions.

Former Premier Yaya Ould Hademine (2014-2018); former General Administrator of state-run Societe Nationale Industrielle et Miniere (SNIM) Mohamed Abdallah Ould Oudaa; and former Urbanization Minister and current CEO of national carrier Mauritanie Airlines Internationale, Amal Mint Maouloud, have seen their passports seized, Le360.ma reports.

Ould Abdelaziz has refused to be heard by the parliament committee and is facing treason accusations.

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