fb_img_1477916431418PHOTO OF THE ALBATROSS PLANE

In his book titled The President’s Plane (l’avion du President) , Investigative journalist Boris BertolT, PhD in criminology and history leads an unprecedented investigation in the heart of lousy acquisition process of a plane for Mr. Paul Biya.One of the biggest scandals of the Biya era, which has already according to alafnet.com understanding has already led more than half a dozen senior officials to prison .

It all started in August 2001, when Mr Biya took the utmost discretion  and instructed  Marafa Hamidou Yaya, the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic to undertake the process of acquiring a BBJII aircraft for head of state. GIA International was chosen to mediate between the government of Cameroon and the American manufacturer Boeing.Initially it was expected to be paid two million dollars so that Boeing can launch the aircraft construction. Michel Meva’a m’Eboutou, Minister of Finance decided to transfer $ 29 million in the accounts of GIA International.

The US company use the money to buy two aircrafts and  rented them to CAMAIR headed by Yves Michel Fotso. In March 2002, the date set for the delivery of the BBJII to President Biya, there was neither  plane nor money.

While the process of the acquisition of the BBJII continues untill 24 August 2002, Marafa Hamidou Yaya was replaced at the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic by Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara. Having considered the records, Mebara decided to suspend negotiations with GIA International and negotiate directly with Boeing. When Boeing got the aircraft ready, its reception was postponed three times. In the end it was never received.

In June 2003, when the plane arrived at the workshops of Boeing in the USA and pending payment, Paul Biya changed his mind and instead opted for a Boeing  767. Before the 767 was to be delivered, Atangana Mebara choosed to rent a plane called “Albatross” for  the presidential couple to use while waiting.

Following the case , alafnet.com understand that Biya was to  travel to attend a summit on the Lake Chad Basin in Paris, the wheels of the “Albatros” could not get out , and Paul and Chantal Biya panicked.

13332968_10154322405437074_1709275491819193606_nBoris Bertolt

In Boris Bertolt‘s own words,this is what happened when the president of the republic of Cameroon took his first flight on the Albastross plane,

“When the plane takes off from the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport on Sunday, April 24, 2004 between 10.30 and 11am, there forty people on board. President Biya and his entourage were traveling to Paris for a summit on the Niger river basin. Before leaving, the head of state as usual,took time to say goodbye to his senior staff on the airport tarmac. The aircraft was flown by the commander Betham,with Fochive as co-pilot .Also present in the cockpit of the Albatross plane was colonel Ndongue Babodo of the special Staff of the Presidency of the Republic.”

“After nearly an hour of flight, the crew detects a problem. The head of state and his delegation were above Foumban. The commander Betham walks to Paul Biya and informs him that the plane has some problems.To his surprise, Jean-Marie Atangana Mebara,  was informed that the aircraft had some difficulty.The crew took the decision to return to Douala make the necessary checks before taking off again. Thus, the control tower at the  Douala international airport was contacted  immediately. And  special device is set up for emergency landing.”

The Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic already ,before the governor of the Littoral and local authorities announced the arrival of the head of state. The stopover in Douala finally did not take place because everything went back quickly to normal.”

But,” during the flight, the head of state and especially his wife were very worried“………………..he wrote.

Meanwhile,President  Biya has never let go “Albatros”and some of his entourage members say ‘they’ tried to kill him.

Alafnet.com readers can get the full story of what happened aboard the Albatros plane from the book l’avion du President by Boris Bertolt which has been in circulation for two months now .Copies are available in bookstores, TOTAL petrol station DOVV, CASINO and kiosks Messapresse in Yaounde or contact Karl Kome- head of distribution department for orders and deliveries on +237 699 568 622.

by Edomnd Tambe

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