International arrest warrant against three ministers and a banker

International arrest warrant against three ministers and a banker

The whole truth about the 3.7 billion gap in the Paramount Group LTD case, relating to the acquisition of the 36 Marauder armored vehicles

The Attorney General of the Supreme Court, Mamadou Timbo, the very person who had placed Soumeylou Boubèye Maiga under a warrant of committal, informed, through a press release, on July 28, national and international opinion of “the opening by the Investigating Chamber of a judicial investigation into the facts qualified as the crime of forgery and use of forgery, attack on public property and complicity in these offences”. The text specifies that these facts related to the case of the public market said Paramount are part of the implementation of the Law of orientation and military programming as well as the Law of programming for internal security. Also, an international arrest warrant, dated July 25, 2022, has been issued against three former ministers and a banker. They are Mamadou Igor Diarra, Boubou Cissé, both former Ministers of Economy and Finance; of Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, former Minister of National Defence; of Babaly Bah, former boss of BMS-sa.

What you should first know is that this judicial inquiry was not made on the basis of a report by the Office of the Auditor General or on the basis of a report by the specialized control services of the ‘State.

It was on order that the authorities of the transition requested an audit from the office of Bintou Camara, ex-wife of the notary Gaoussou Haïdara. It is the conclusions of this report which served as a working document for the magistrates of the Investigating Chamber, according to our cross-checks. It so happens that the defendants reject this report as a whole, which has not been the subject of contradiction because throughout its preparation, the interested parties have not been heard. Contrary to orthodoxy, which requires that the report of an audit be published and above all communicated to those who might be interested or concerned by its conclusions.

It is common knowledge that all the reports of the Office of the Auditor General and the control services are subject to contradiction and even to wide dissemination, including by electronic means. Such is not the case with this report which is always kept secret. Our multiple attempts to find a copy of this audit report have been unsuccessful.

What you should also know is that Paramount Group is a group of companies specializing in the global Defense, Homeland Security and Peacekeeping industries. It is a South African company.

Founded in 1994, Paramount Group offers a range of armored vehicles, aircraft and helicopters.

We are in 1994, the Malian Army, weakened in the fight against terrorism by a lack of equipment, expresses its wish to work with this South African company, in order to reconstitute its armored units.

The Army expresses the needs, which are quickly validated by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, then by the Higher Council for National Defence. Discussions start with the supplier, unfortunately they remain unproductive until 2015.

In the planning of the Military Orientation and Programming Law, the purchase of “Marauder armored vehicles” is included. The Marauder is a mine-resistant armored vehicle, put on the market in February 2007. It serves as a troop transport with a range of 700 km.

In September 2015, then Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, on behalf of the Government of Mali, signed a Supplier Credit Agreement with Goup Paramount, the seller.

This concerns the acquisition of 36 Marauder armored vehicles and the repair of 2SF 260 Marchetti aircraft for a total amount of 35,399,259,739 (thirty five billion three hundred ninety nine million two fifty nine thousand seven hundred thirty nine) .

In the terms of payment, the buyer is required to pay an advance equivalent to 20% of the contract value. This advance is placed in an escrow account opened at BMS-sa.

The terms of release given by the buyer on this escrow account are as follows: 50% releasable upon delivery of the 1st batch of vehicles upon presentation of the packing list and commercial invoice; 50% releasable upon delivery of the second batch, under the same conditions.

The balance of the contractual price (80%) will be paid in three annual installments, in the 1st quarter of each of the next 3 years, i.e. 30% (April 2016); 30% (March 2017); 20% (March 2018).

What you should also know is that the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs is the buyer, that of the Economy and Finance, the payer.

The Minister of Finances at the time, Mamadou Igor Diarra, did nothing in this contract, apart from the obligations of the department: to ensure that the acquisitions of the Paramount contract fall within the framework of the Orientation and Programming Law military and that budgetary allocations would be available to allow its feasibility; honor payment of the 20% advance on an escrow account domiciled at BMS-sa as provided for in the contract. It was also a question of proceeding by a device called a “promissory note”. It is a document by which the subscriber recognizes himself as debtor of the benefit to which he promises to pay a certain sum of money at a certain term specified on the title. The promissory note may be transmitted by endorsement. It is considered a payment instrument with a due date.

Grossomodo, Mamadou Igor Diarra left the Government in January 2016, after having assumed, according to an adviser from the financial institution, all his administrative responsibilities by respecting the payment procedure laid down by the contract.

As for Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, after the approval of the contract by the Technical Commission and the Superior Council of National Defence, he signed it with Paramount, of course under the seal of “secret defence”.

It leaves the Government in September 2016, at the time the 20% of the escrow account had already been set up, and a first payment took place, without any delivery of Marauder armored vehicles. His successor, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, inherited the file, and never stopped asking the supplier for the delivery of the machines. In vain.

Boubou Cissé, successor to Mamadou Igor Diarra, after learning about the file, was advised by treasury officials not to make the other disbursements. He immediately set off an inspection mission, led at the time by Moussa Ag Alassane, director of financial control, currently a member of the CNT, to go as far as South Africa, in order to have precise information on the company and the contract.

Unfortunately, the Malian delegation found that the company was in difficulty and under compulsory liquidation. This comforted Boubou Cissé in his position not to make any payment. Instead of canceling the contract, the new Minister of Finance re-read it, through amendments/modification.

It is with this new document and the threats made that only eight Marauder armored vehicles were delivered in 2019.

So where is the problem? It lies in the fact that the amount paid by the State to the supplier with traceability allows the acquisition of twelve Marauder armored vehicles instead of eight. Where is the value of the four missing gears entered? This amount is estimated at 3.7 billion. This is where all the suspicions lie! While evidence exists that the supplier received the amount. Without delivering the four remaining machines. The authorities of the transition think of retro commissions, which could explain in their eyes the unjustified amount.

In this hypothesis, the State must rather attack Paramount, even if it is on the verge of bankruptcy, to find out more about what had happened. It could also be that he had failures in the payment procedures, which could explain the presence of Babaly Bah in this case.

In any case, the audit, which enabled the Supreme Court to issue the international arrest warrants, must be made public, like all audit reports, so that ordinary citizens can know really what is reproached to these honorable personalities. To be continued !


El Hadj Chahana TAKIOU

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Source: Maliweb

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