Madagascar: Which oil company was contacted to finance the coup?

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Tuesday, 27 July 2021 18:16

Supporters of Andry Rajoelina, during the campaign for the presidential election. Themba Hadebe/AP/SIPA

One of the two Frenchmen suspected of planning to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina asked Madagascar Oil for millions of euros.

According to exclusive information gathered by us, Paul Rafanoharana, a former soldier and one of the two French citizens who was arrested on 20 July, contacted Madagascar Oil to finance the destabilisation of President Rajoelina. Madagascar Oil is part of the Benchmark Group and has been present in Madagascar since 2004.

More than €10m

Rafanoharana asked Madagascar Oil for more than €10m.

In return, the man who is now seen as the instigator of the attempted coup is said to have promised to smooth out the company’s operations in the country. In particular, Rafanoharana said he would be able to get the contracts that Madagascar Oil is currently negotiating signed.

The question of links between Madagascar Oil and the company’s representatives in the country – notably Russel Kelly and Kemrajsing Sewnundun, who were arrested for the purposes of the investigation – remains unanswered.

When contacted, Madagascar Oil did not wish to respond.

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