Crown fire

Côte d’Ivoire: The case that led to the fall of Alain-Richard Donwahi

in depth

This article is part of the dossier:

Timber Trafficking

By Vincent Duhem, in Abidjan

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Posted on July 11, 2022 14:05

Arrested in November 2021, Ibrahim Lakiss, an Ivorian-Lebanese logger, is suspected of having set up a racketeering system with the complicity of numerous regional officials and private operators. This is an investigation into a state scandal that cost the minister of Water and Forests, Alain-Richard Donwahi, his job.

This is part 2 of a 6-part series

The Ivory Trade Center (ITC), located in the heart of the wealthy Cocody commune, is one of the new chic spots in Abidjan. The Ivorian branch of the auditing and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has set up its offices there. The affluent like to relax in this small shopping centre with its marble floors and the adjacent Sofitel Ivoire hotel, with its French Monoprix shop, its pricey wine cellar and its upscale restaurants. It is a place for business meetings and Sunday brunches. And, on rare occasions, a place to get arrested.

9 pm on Saturday 20 November 2021. Investigators from the Major Crime Unit (ULGC) were about to get their hands on a logger they had been tracking for almost a week. His phone was located more than a hundred kilometres away, not far from Niablé, in eastern Côte d’Ivoire, but the source was positive. The man they are

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