x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Former Elf oil chief appears on charge of defrauding Emirati

Loik Le Floch-Prigent, who was extradited to Togo from Ivory Coast on Saturday, is to be charged with defrauding an Emirati businessman out of US$48 million.

The former chairman of the French oil giant Elf, Loik Le Floch-Prigent, appeared in a Togolese court today, charged with taking part in a scam that defrauded an Emirati businessman of US$48 million (Dh176.3m).

Mr Le Floch-Prigent was arrested in Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan on Friday night as he tried to board an Air France flight to Paris, an Ivorian security source said.

He was transferred to Togo the next day under an international arrest warrant.

Mr Le Floch-Prigent made no comment as he quickly entered a judge’s chambers at the tribunal in the capital Lome, escorted by three gendarmes.

The Emirati businessman, Abbas Al Yousef, claims Mr Le Floch-Prigent was acting as his personal adviser during the alleged fraud.

Togo’s former minister of territorial administration, Pascal Bodjona, has also been charged over the allegations, as has the Togolese businessman Bertin Sow Agba.

Mr Le Floch-Prigent has already served jail terms in France for corruption, dating from his time as head of Elf from 1989 to 1993.

* with Associated Press