The former Mauritanian head of state, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, is about to find himself in an intriguing situation. Arrested on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, he was placed under a warrant of committal because of the heavy burden on his back. He is being prosecuted for active corruption in the performance of his duties as Head of State of Mauritania from 2009 to 2019. During the interrogations, the country’s financial police discovered a series of wrongdoings ordered by the 65-year-old politician. Money laundering, land requisitions, misappropriated commissions, failure to pay bills, undue enrichment, misappropriation of farmland, aliases, tax havens, These are the major events for which Mouhamed Ould Abdel Aziz risks remaining in prison. Here are the details delivered by the investigators to Agence France Presse on Thursday 24 June 2021.
1. Why did you ask utilities to sell schools, part of the Olympic stadium, part of the police school, the escort battalion, etc.? On the understanding that your former Prime Minister and your ministers concerned have confirmed that they have received direct orders from you.
2. Did you know that these properties are in the public domain and that they have been sold without reclassification according to the requirements of the law (Regulatory Orders 83 and 84 and their respective implementing orders)? So the sale was made outside the law?
3. Did you know that the auction process was not transparent and that it was acquired by a limited group at prices that were four times cheaper than the market price in at least one of the cases, a penalty for the public treasury of 80%?
4. Why did some of your family members benefit from these sales using aliases, aliases?
5. Are you aware that the same scenario that occurred in Nouakchott occurred in Nouadhibou?
Second: the industrial and commercial district
6. What is your relationship with the granting of an area of 580,000 m² of this area granted by decision 2010-2217, which constitutes a flagrant violation of Article 126 of Decree 2010-080 implementing the Land Law?
Third: land grant operations
7. Did you know that the parcels of land distributed by the Minister of Finance, with an area of less than 1,000 square metres per parcel, reached the proportion of one million five hundred square metres in 2017-2019?
8. You were very critical of the granting of parcels of land on a discretionary basis alone, so how do you explain that? Especially when we know that the beneficiaries are none other than your loved ones?
9. Why has the process of awarding parcels of more than 1,000 square metres in urban areas by the Council of Ministers – under your chairmanship – reached three million five hundred thousand square metres in 2018-2019?
10. Are you aware that most of these parcels were awarded to shell companies that did not follow due process and did not comply with legal requirements? What is your responsibility in this regard while you were chairing the Council of Ministers and holding absolute powers?
11. Why was the agricultural sector granted by the Council of Ministers, under your chairmanship, over 21,700 hectares of land for the benefit of investors in 2018-2019 alone, Most of which do not meet the conditions laid down in the legal texts?
12. Are you aware that most of these investors have not yet taken possession of the spaces granted to them?
Fourth: Rural deductions
13. Why during the period 2010-2014 was the legal situation of many fraudulent transactions concerning the granting of rural areas to businessmen in your entourage regularized?
14. The reports of the State Inspection have highlighted cases of fraud and squandering attributed to the aforementioned businessmen and certain officials. The case was closed without any sanction. What is your responsibility in enforcing the law and preserving the public interest?
Fifth: the agreement with Nejah Mega Works (NMW)
15. The Minister of Economy and Equipment mentioned during this period that you had instructed him to conclude this agreement.On what legal basis did it act?
16. Did you know that Mauritanian legislation prohibits this type of agreement?
17. At the time, the Prime Minister told the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry that you personally lead meetings with the company and foreigners at the presidential palace and discuss the plan of the airport and the details of the agreement. What are the legal bases for this? And where were the administrative authorities responsible?
18. How is it that you or certain members of your family have obtained part of the land space granted to Najah?
Sixièmement: blanchiment d’argent
19. Certains membres de votre famille ont acheté des biens immobiliers pour des montants énormes, qui ne correspondent pas à leurs revenus ou à leur âge. Il s’agit de Mohamed Ould Msabou, Leila Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Asma Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Ahmedou Abdel Aziz et Bedreddine Mohamed Abdel Aziz. Les données en notre possession ne représentent qu’un faible pourcentage des biens immobiliers achetés par ces personnes, selon les informations et documents aux mains de la commission d’enquête parlementaire. D’où ont-ils obtenu tout cet argent?
Septièmement: Éclairage public à l’énergie solaire (SOMELEC)
20. Vous avez créé ANADER le 15 novembre 2010, puis l’avez démantelée le 4 mars 2013. Pouvez-vous nous expliquer pourquoi cette société publique a été créée et pourquoi elle a été dissoute?
21. ANADER a été chargée d’installer des poteaux d’éclairage public au niveau de la présidence de la République. Ces poteaux proviennent d’un stock qui se trouve dans les magasins du BASEP. Qui est acheté ce stock ou qui en est le donateur?
22. Nous n’avons trouvé aucune trace de cette transaction avec le ministère de tutelle, pas plus qu’avec la société Somelec. Pourquoi ces institutions pourtant concernées au premier plan n’ont-elles pas été informées?
23. Un examen minutieux des messages existant dans le courrier électronique du ministre de l’Énergie et du directeur général de l’entreprise a montré que votre fils, Allah yarehmou, correspondait avec le ministre et le fournisseur, et que c’était lui qui avait proposé le fournisseur et négocié avec lui de façon directe jusqu’à ce que le prix soit déterminé. Quelle est la relation du fils d’un président de la République avec les grands marchés publics?
24. Nous avons consulté des courriers électroniques entre votre fils Ahmedou, Allah yarehmou, et certains ministres. Il semble que ce soit lui qui leur dictait ce qu’ils devaient faire. Qui a autorisé cela?
25. Le fournisseur susmentionné a obtenu deux contrats en milliards, le premier en 2012 et le second en 2013, qui comportaient tous deux de flagrantes violations de la loi, que ce soit en termes des modalités procédurales, de la qualité des produits ou de la préservation de l’intérêt public. Quelle est votre relation personnelle avec le sujet?
26. En 2013, le Conseil des ministres avait autorisé un paiement anticipé non garanti pour ce fournisseur, ce qui est illégal. Pourquoi de telles actions ont-elles menées sous votre présidence du conseil des ministres?
Eighth: the container terminal at the port of Nouakchott
27. Several investors have expressed interest in this container terminal, including Bolloré, SFI, DP, etc. How do you explain the failure to complete the process with highly professional and credible investors?
28. In February 2018, Mauritania signed a memorandum of understanding with a company under Mauritanian law, owned by two Indians. This company was created the day before the protocol was signed. How is it that this contract was denied to professionals for the benefit of a company without any experience?
29. This Protocol was made the framework for an OTC agreement, in flagrant violation of the Public-Private Partnership Act, because the conditions for direct negotiations are not met and the protocol formula does not exist in the procedural modalities. Have you given instructions to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Equipment to sign this protocol?
30. Why has the Port of Nouakchott been excluded from the negotiation process when it is the official body that can advise the government on this matter?
31. Did you know that the agreement was signed before it was ratified by the National Procurement Commission, in flagrant violation of existing legislation?
32. Why did the authorities order the Contracting Commission to ratify this agreement, which was signed the same day, after having been postponed shortly before that day?!
33. Did you know that this agreement is unfair to our country in terms of taxation, financial compensation, pricing, responsibility for port management, etc.
34. Did you know that the impact of this concession on the port and national port actors has not been assessed?
35. Did you know that the impact of such favours on the port and local port actors has not been assessed?
Ninth: NMIS Charitable Foundation
36. The National Mining and Industry Corporation Charitable Foundation “NMIS” has made many interventions outside its scope and has strayed from its original purpose. Are you aware of that?
37. Feed markets have been organised in the form of direct agreement for the purchase of a product stored for one year and which the Food Safety Commission had previously rejected because it did not comply with the specifications. However, the General State Inspection confirmed that the product was not appropriate, which the Prime Minister had confirmed at the time. Why did you give instructions to the Food Safety Commissioner to buy such a product?
38. Why did you order to buy 20,000 tonnes of questionable products from the same supplier?
39. Some believe that the companies benefiting from the Livestock Feeding Agreement and the 20,000 tonnes of damaged wheat would belong to you. What is your comment?
40. The Charitable Foundation of the SNIM carried out work as President of the Republic and even provided the Republic with material.Does the Chair not have a budget to fund this work? Or is this an attempt to circumvent the code of obligations and contracts?
41. The NMIS Charitable Foundation has carried out work worth 240 million ouguiyas on privately owned property. On what basis was this done?
42. During your Presidency, the infrastructure sector, in particular roads, has benefited from significant allocations of financial resources.These resources have been directed, almost exclusively, towards two public actors. Can you explain the dimensions of such a strategy?
43. Professional actors in the infrastructure sector – such as roads – have been systematically excluded for the benefit of newly created institutions. Can you explain the reasons for this sudden change?
44. Out of a total of 102 transactions, 96 were concluded by mutual agreement despite your denials and denials of the end of the OTC markets that you criticized, considering them as a cover-up of corruption operations. What is your explanation for that?
45. The agreements, 76 in total, for the delegation of the project authority which have been concluded with the following companies: ENER, MTC, ATTM, SNAT, STAM, represent flagrant violations of the law on the contracting authority and the Code of Public Procurement. Therefore, why repeated violations in the major markets?
46. Why have these public actors limited their orders to a limited group of service providers who are often your relatives or direct property managers?
47. Why is the quality of work so below the norm, due to the favouritism of public actors towards service providers and the lack of professionalism, among other things, resulting in a huge loss of money and a lack ofrespect for the public interest?
48. The public actors who have achieved a staggering turnover of more than 300 billion ouguiyas have gone bankrupt today or are about to declare bankruptcy. Can this only be explained by the greed of service providers who benefit from your unwavering support, in the face of weak public servants?
49. And by the way, why did you bankrupt ENER?
50. When was ENER tasked with tasks outside its jurisdiction? As was the case with SONIMEX?
51. Do you think you have really developed the infrastructure sector or have accumulated wealth for the benefit of a group of service providers among your entourage?
52. The agreement for the 120 MW Mixed Power Plant was given to a company that was not the lowest priced company, in violation of the Rules of Procedure. Why were you instructed to do that?
53. The same company obtained a direct agreement for the supply of electricity (60 MW) financed by the Islamic Development Bank, despite the opposition of the lessor. Did you also intervene at this level?!
54 The same company was also awarded a lucrative contract to maintain the 180 MW plant. Is it because this company has a partnership with a businessman from your entourage?
55. The Nouakchott – Nouadhibou High Voltage Power Line Agreement was entered into by mutual agreement with a company related to one of your close relatives. Have you given instructions to the department or to SOMELEC on this matter as well?
56. Why have you not paid the electricity bills for some of the homes and businesses you have owned for a long time?
Eleventh: Saneem’s agreements and trade policy:
57. NMIS made more than 800 billion Ugandan profits in four years (2010-2013), but almost went bankrupt in 2015 when iron ore prices fell. So where did that $800 billion go?
58. SNIM has made investments far from its specialty, such as the Mail projects, Chami Steal, the Aleg plant, the hotel, the headquarters in Nouakchott, the insurance company, etc. Whose responsibility is it to push SNIM into this vast program that has proven disastrous for the company, because it has divested the head office and its shares in the capital of the insurance company, as well as the Aleg plant…?
59. Why, during the 2010-2016 period, did the SNIM Sales Department face strong pressure to integrate clients in partnership with Mauritanian individuals close to you?
60. In 2012, you ordered the Chief Executive Officer of the SNIM Corporation to recruit your son-in-law, Mr. Mohamed Ould Msabou, under irregular conditions. He soon forced his transfer to Paris, in accordance with the statement made by the Chief Executive Officer to the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. Did you have any other interests in this appointment and what are they?
61. As a result of this recruitment, NMIS has lost one of its most qualified executives. Do you bear responsibility?
62. How is it that, as some sources indicate, your son-in-law, Mr. Mohamed Ould Msabou, became the real business manager and why did he encourage the inclusion of intermediaries in the purchase of SNIM minerals?