SENEGAL’S justice ministry ordered a probe Monday into a BBC report alleging that the president’s brother richly benefited from a deal awarding British energy giant BP contracts in the gas sector.
The statement by the ministry calling for a ‘complete inquiry’ was issued a week after the BBC investigation aired June 3 and caused an outcry in the impoverished West African country, where oil and gas finds over the past five years have stoked public expectations of a bonanza.
In its report, the BBC said that just after being elected in 2012 President Macky Sall awarded a contract set up by his predecessor giving exploitation rights to two gas fields to the Timis Corporation, a company controlled by an Australian-Romanian businessman, Frank Timis.
BP paid $250 million to Timis Corporation, together with a commitment to pay royalties of around $10bn over 40 years, it said.
The British broadcaster said the Timis Corp. also secretly paid a ‘bonus’ of $250,000 to Agritrans, a company controlled by Sall’s younger brother, Aliou Sall, who was also employed by the Timis group with a $25,000-a-month salary.