Senegal former president’s son arrested in graft probe

Dakar. The flamboyant “super minister” son of former Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade was detained in Dakar on Monday as Police investigate his assets, valued at more than $1 billion, his lawyer told AFP news agency.

Dakar. The flamboyant “super minister” son of former Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade was detained in Dakar on Monday as Police investigate his assets, valued at more than $1 billion, his lawyer told AFP news agency.

Karim Wade, who held several cabinet posts under his father’s presidency, has been locked in legal battles with the current regime over his wealth, alleged to be illicit gains from his time in office.

Wade, who was arrested in his Dakar home on Monday, was “placed in custody at the request of the prosecution”, his lawyer, Demba Cire Bathily, said.

Wade is alleged to own a number of foreign companies, including Dubai Port World, which runs the port container terminal in Senegal capital Dakar, Moroccan bank BCME and airport ground support company AHS.

His arrest came just hours after his legal team had filed a dossier of more than 2,000 pages in response to an order from the nation’s anti-corruption court to explain how he had come by assets allegedly worth over $1.4 billion.

Denial

Wade, who was not present at the court, denies corruption and says his vast fortune comes legitimately from the companies he owns as well as “real estate” and bank accounts. His lawyers have accused the prosecution of “inventing” the facts in the graft case.

“The regime is testing our resolve but the law is on our side,” another one of his lawyers, Cire Cledor Ly, said.

The former ruling Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) accuses the regime of Macky Sall, who defeated Wade’s father in presidential elections, last year, of conducting a witch-hunt against the PDS hierarchy since it came to power.

Karim Wade was often criticised for his mismanagement of public finances and was nicknamed “super minister” and “the minister of the earth and the sky” after his father placed him in charge of international cooperation, air transport, infrastructure and energy portfolios.

Described as haughty and arrogant, Wade led the lifestyle of a playboy during his years in his father’s government, travelling mostly in private jets.

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