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.
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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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