Sunday, December 10, 2006

Guinea's richest man arrested

More shenanigans in the power struggle between Guinea's richest man and the de facto leader of the country. Guinean businessman Mamadou Sylla was arrested in his Conakry home and brought to the central police station, where he remains incommunicado, his lawyers said on Friday.

"The police refused to allow anyone to accompany him. It was an illegal and arbitrary procedure," his lawyer added.

Conte's cash-strapped government accuses Sylla, the head of the country's chamber of commerce, of fraudulently withdrawing $US22 million from the Central Bank in Treasury Bills with the complicity of its former deputy governor Fode Soumah.

Sylla denies the charges and alleges the West African state owes him $US28 million for supplies, including arms to fight a rebellion between September 2000 and March 2001.

Sylla has repeatedly clashed with presidential advisor Fodé Bangoura, who many believe to be truly in chrage of the country in place of the seriously ill head of state Gen. Lansana Conté.


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