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Investigation shows Cameroon paid 2billion FCFA to Boko Haram for hostage release

Moulin-Founier family in Boko Haram captivity, February 2013 ©All rights reserved

The action group against money laundering in Central Africa has published results of an investigation, revealing the government of Cameroon paid a whooping sum of 2billion FCFA to Boko Haram terrorists for the release of the Moulin-Fournier French family of seven in 2013.

The reports says the Nigeria-based so-called Islamic terror group requested a ransom of 3.5million US dollars when it abducted Tanguy Moulin-Fournier and his family who were on vacation in Cameroon’s Far North region- government paid 3.14 million USD. The action group commonly known by its French acronym, GABAC, says the money was paid through negotiators who were both French and Cameroonians.

The main mediator, according to the report, was a certain Alhaji Abdalla, a well-established car dealer based in the town of Amchide in Cameroon’s Far North. He, according to GABAC, played a key role in the liberation of the family which was freed in April 2013 after living in captivity for three months.

The report says it was the arrest of Alhadji Abdalla that led to the uncovering of a network between some business men in the Far North region and criminals.

GABAC however stated in the report that during its investigations,”no official source confirmed the payment of a ransom. However, some indications tend to suggest: Bank notes likely to be part of the ransom were seized; one of the negotiators was arrested by security forces and remains in detention to this day; another suspect was arrested and detained in connection with the kidnappings; Certain intermediaries in the negotiations are currently facing trial”.

As regards the difficulties GABAC faced in its investigation, it said data confidentiality and security paranoia limited access to information which obliged its investigators to use alternative approaches to data collection.

Published on 03.01.2023

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