FREETOWN - Following BBC's Panorama investigation into secret oil and gas deal corruption between one of City's most controversial businessmen, Frank Timis, and the Senegalese president's brother, Aliou Sall, a team of journalists from Britain and Sierra Leone funded by our Money Trail grant programme can reveal further insight into just how questionable this deal was.
Uncovering a classified government document from 2012 along with interviews from key figures the team show that Frank Timis should never have been awarded the offshore gas deals in Senegal in the first place. They discover that Timis' company, Petro-Tim, which did not even exist at the time the contracts were signed, paid millions of dollars in illegal signature fees with no investigation or prosecution, that Timis' closest business associates brand him a bandit and much more.
The Senegalese gas field blocks in question, Cayar Offshore Profond and Saint-Louis Offshore-Profond have been the source of much controversy along with Timis' mining projects in Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. The team's series of articles depict how Frank Timis gets away with worrying billion-dollar deals across West Africa and the lives these deals affect.
Pictures © Shanna Jones.
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