According to Mediapart, French authorities have seized a mansion, in the upscale suburbs of Paris at the end of June, suspected of belonging to Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso son of the Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The mansion is occupied by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso and his family according to the investigation report.
This is a new twist in the so-called “ill-gotten gains” affair. According to Mediapart, the son of the president of Congo-Brazzaville is suspected by the authorities of having laundered 19 million euros in France. The French news site says it had access to a foreclosure order, dated June 20, which details years of investigation into Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso’s lifestyle in France.
Ill-gotten gains refers to movable and immovable property acquired in France by African state leaders with doubtful financing usually subject to investigation by French courts.
The French investigation also reveals that he owns two other apartments in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. According to the investigations, the funds used for the purchase of these mansions are disproportionate to the official income declared by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso and Mediapart adds that investigators believe that it came from oil money which is largely controlled by the government of the Republic of Congo.
Contacted, Christel’s lawyer affirms that contrary to the judicial conclusions, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso is not the owner of the real estate concerned. And that the facts shared by the authorities are not actually established.
The French authorities however believe that they have gathered enough evidence to show that he is indeed the owner of the mansion in Neuilly.
Translated from RFI by Allafrica’s Michael Tantoh