Pascal Rebillard, Jean-Pierre Schiano and Pierre Mahé, all formers managing directors of the Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC), and Alain Pierre Louis Ripert, current MD of this Cameroonian subsidiary of French group BPCE; are expected at the Wouri regional Court in Douala this 22 November and 23 November 2016.

The interested parties will have to, according to our sources, provide explanations to the examining judge on the misappropriation case of over FCfa 50 billion at BICEC over a 12-year period. This scandal was revealed earlier this year by an internal audit, then confirmed by the COBAC auditors, the regulatory body in the banking sector in the CEMAC zone.

Since 8 August 2016, Cameroonian Innocent Ondoa Nkou, former deputy MD of BICEC, who occupied this function for close to 20 years, has been locked up at the central prison of Douala as part of this affair. He was jailed with his compatriots Samuel Ngando Mbongue, former Accounts and Treasury Director at BICEC, and Martin Nyamsi, service provider through the company Interface.

Until now, none of the French managers, who were all managing directors of BICEC during the period over which the misappropriation acts took place, had been called, let alone threatened. Upon observation, their recent summoning by the Cameroonian justice could lead this case in a completely different direction.

This especially as, since the start of this affair, many observers were surprised that such a network could have existed within a banking institution for such a long time (12 years), without the multiple internal and external audits imposed to banks revealing the deeds.

As a reminder, based on doubts following an internal audit, an investigation undertaken in March 2016 within this bank by COBAC helped in exposing a network “implicating external service providers with internal complicity”. This network, according to the conclusions of the investigation, caused BICEC a financial loss estimated at over FCfa 50 billion over a 12-year period; through several instances of over-invoicing and fictitious invoices, regularly paid to suppliers “via an off-the-record system”.

Source:Business in Cameroon

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