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DRC: Rawbank CEO Thierry Taeymans incarcerated

By Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala
Posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 09:20

The Managing Director of Rawbank
The Managing Director of Rawbank at a roundtable discussion on September 18, 2018. © Thierry Taeymans, Twitter

Twenty-four hours after his arrest and the judicial hearing of the investigations into the use of funds earmarked for the 100-day presidential programme, Rawbank's managing director, Thierry Taeymans, was transferred to Makala Central Prison on Friday.

On 12 March, the leading bank in the country, on hearing about the transactions and transfers in connection with the project of the emergency program of Felix Tshisekedi, and that Thierry Taeymans, was in detention, stated it, “regrets this decision but wishes to recall that it will continue to collaborate with the Congolese justice, being convinced that the truth will eventually be established”.

According to our sources, the Rawbank CEO’s hearing hinged on Samibo Congo, a company owned by Lebanese businessman, Jammal Samih, who has been in prison for several days.

Samih, currently held in pre-trial detention on “serious” suspicion of embezzlement, has been unable to justify the use of some $17 million [15.23 million euro] already earmarked for the construction of social housing.

“All regulations complied with”

In the housing component of Tshisekedi’s emergency programme, launched in March 2019 for his first 100 days in power, the construction of 1,500 social housing units was planned in five cities of the country, including Kinshasa, Bukavu, Mbuji-Mayi, Kananga, and in Kongo-Central, at a rate of 300 houses per city. The total cost of this housing component was $57.6 million [51.62 million euros].

During his hearing, Rawbank’s MD “was able to answer questions from the magistrates and presented a full transparent account of Rawbank’s activities in the case,” the bank claimed, adding, “Like each of the operations carried out by the bank, Rawbank says it has complied with all regulations in force”.

Safricas managing director David Blattner, as well as the managing director of the Roads Office, are also in custody at Makala prison.

Investigators regularly audition the the Roads and Drainage Office and the Industry Promotion Front.

At the council of ministers meeting on Friday, 28 February, the President criticised the pressure and threats which the defendants were subjected to in this case involving the 100-day programme.

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