The Chief of Staff to the President of Madagascar and her associate have been charged with bribery offences following a NCA operation.
Madagascan Romy Andrianarisoa, age 46, and French National Philippe Tabuteau, age 54, are suspected of seeking a bribe to secure licences to operate in Madagascar from Gemfields, the UK mining company who first raised concerns to the NCA. The sums they were seeking amounted to CHF 250,000 (approximately £225,000) in upfront charges, as well as a 5% equity stake.
Following a fast paced investigation into suspected bribery in action, Andrianarisoa and Tabuteau were arrested in the Victoria area of London on Thursday afternoon, at a meeting where they are suspected of having attempted to solicit a bribe. The operation was conducted with close cooperation from the CPS which was able to provide immediate charging advice, enabling the pair to be charged on Friday evening.
They appeared at court on Saturday and were remanded in prison until their next hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 8 September.
Andy Kelly, Head of the International Corruption Unit at the NCA said: “This operation demonstrates the ability of the ICU to capitalise on cooperation from industry. I am grateful to Gemfields for bringing this matter to our attention and for their on-going cooperation with the investigation. Their quick reactions to engage the NCA have been critical to our ability to pursue this case.”
Joanne Jakymec, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the NCA to charge Romy Andrianarisoa and Philippe Tabuteau with requesting a bribe.
“The CPS made the decision to authorise charges after reviewing a file of evidence from the NCA relating to allegations of bribery.
“Criminal proceedings against Ms Andrianarisoa and Mr Tabuteau are active and they have a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.”
14 August 2023