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Madagascar: Madagascan Presidential Aide Charged With Bribery in UK

Cape Town — Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested Romy Andrianarisoa, the Madagascan president’s chief of staff, after allegedly soliciting a bribe from global gemstone supplier Gemfields, Reuters reports. Andrianarisoa, along with her French associate Philippe Tabuteau, were summarily detained in London. The pair sought an upfront payment of U.S.$286,000, along with a 5% equity stake, the NCA said.

Andy Kelly, head of the NCA’s international corruption unit, said in a statement: “I am grateful to Gemfields for bringing this matter to our attention and for their ongoing cooperation with the investigation. Their quick reactions to engage the NCA have been critical to our ability to pursue this case.” Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina’s office confirmed Andrianarisoa’s dismissal with immediate effect, adding: “The President remains firmly devoted to ethics in the conduct of state affairs and to fight corruption in all its forms. “

Based in the United Kingdom, Gemfields owns the coveted Fabergé jewellery brand and runs ruby and emerald mines across Southern Africa. It’s also looking to open operations in Ethiopia and Madagascar.

Andrianarisoa and Tabuteau appeared in court on Saturday, August 12 and have been remanded into custody. Their next hearing is scheduled in London on September 8.

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