A Cameroonian court has sentenced a former defence minister, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o to 30 years in prison for stealing approximately $40 million.
Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o was charged with inflating contracts to purchase military weapons from Brazil.
Bernadette Minla Nkoulou, who was detained at the same time, was found guilty of embezzling and taking an interest in 5 billion CFA francs. For this, she was sentenced to ten years in prison. Many of the defendants’ assets, including luxury cars, residences, and land titles, were seized by the court.
The couple denied any guilt, and their counsel stated that they will appeal the judgements to the Supreme Court.
Jules Koum Koum, a Cameroonian journalist who died in a car accident in 2010, exposed the corruption charges.
Maxime Leonard Mbangue, a Treasury inspector and ex-technical adviser to the Ministry of Defence, and Colonel Elie Mboutou, a former close ally of Mebe Ngo’o, were also found guilty of embezzling public monies for amounts of 6 and 16 billion CFA francs, respectively. They were each sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Victor Menye, a former deputy general manager of the Cameroon Banking Company (SCB), was cleared of corruption charges but found guilty of involvement in aggravated money laundering. He received a nine-year prison sentence.
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