Cameroon Elites Plundered U.S.$656 Million, Investigation Finds

A list of 67 suspicious transactions obtained by the Arizona Project team in Cameroon reveals undeclared payments totalling U.S.$656 million from state coffers to questionable businesses and individuals, according to information obtained by the Arizona Project team in Cameroon.

The transactions spanning from 2017 to 2021, involve beneficiaries with foreign connections, some potentially fake. The investigations into these cases were initiated by the former director-general of Cameroon's tax agency, Mopa Fatoing, but have since been halted. Fatoing was removed from his position by President Paul Biya.

The shocking finding of the "Arizona Project" investigation into the gruesome torture and murder of a journalist in January 2023. It also revealed that a dossier of financial documents detailing illicit outflows of money was handed to a journalist, which led to the downfall of a candidate who was positioned as a possible successor to the ageing autocratic president. The journalist who received the dossier, Martinez Zogo, was tortured and killed. His death created a climate of fear, impeding corruption investigations in Cameroon, including the 67 cases on the list.

When the team discovered that illicit financial flows from Cameroon to foreign countries were a crucial factor in the murder of Martinez Zogo, international partners in the Global Investigative Journalism Network were also ready to help.


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