Ivory Coast probes Trafigura waste fund theft

President Laurent Gbagbo (file photo 24 May 2010) The investigation was launched by Mr Gbagbo after allegations in the press

Related Stories

An investigation has been ordered into allegations a minister in the Ivory Coast embezzled money meant for victims of waste dumping.

The investigation into Interior Minister Desire Tagro comes after accusations in the media.

Oil shipping firm Trafigura made a $198m (£134m) out-of-court settlement with the government after the 2006 dumping of waste in Abidjan.

Mr Tagro will not be suspended during the inquiry, it was reported.

He is seen as a key ally of President Laurent Gbagbo, who ordered the investigation.

'No comment'

The accusations also include embezzling from budgets set aside to aid travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage, from a police training school and a national voter ID scheme, a government spokesman said in a statement.

Mr Tagro is also accused of nepotism for giving civil service jobs to people from his region.

"Faced with these accusations the president ordered the public prosecutor to open an investigation," the spokesman said.

Mr Tagro refused to comment on the allegations.

Trafigura had hired a local firm in 2006 to treat and dispose of its waste - but the chemicals were eventually dumped in the main city, Abidjan.

Shortly afterwards, thousands of people complained of becoming ill, and the illnesses were eventually linked to the chemical waste.

But reports that the waste had caused deaths or serious injuries were always rejected by Trafigura - and lawyers for the claimants eventually agreed.

Trafigura agreed to an out-of-court settlement in 2007 but the first cheques were only issued in March after legal disputes.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories



  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?

  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing

  • The chequeBig gamble

    How does it feel to bet £900,000 on the Scottish referendum?

  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.