The Budgetary and Finance disciplinary Council of Cameroon’s Ministry of Supreme State Audit(MINCSP) has summoned the former Managing Director of Port Authority of Douala(PAD) Mr. Jean Marcel Dayas Mounoumé over charges of embezzlement public funds to the tune of FCFA 458 Million.
Mr. Mounoumé and his Director of Administration and Financial Affairs Mr. Abel Mangieb got the call albeit reports that the General Manager has fled the country ‘to Luanda Angola’ after a series of ‘suspicious investigations’ were opened up against him.
The ex-Managing Director was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Cameroon’s Special Criminal Court for a managerial lapse that also sent his Deputy General Manager Eloundou Essomba, and a certain business magnate Patrice Tsimi Enyengue to Cameroon’s VIP prison- Kondengui.
The True Story behind the missing FCFA 458 million
This issue dates as far back as April 2005, almost 3 years after the appointment of Jean Marcel Mounoumé as Managing Director of the Douala Port Authority.
There was a litigation between Circle and International Shipping Dee-a Chinese company and Douala Port Authority on the issue of a debt incurred in a previous unsettled transaction. This prompted the maritime arbitration chamber of Paris on May 9, 2015 to urge the Douala Port Authority to repay the sum of FCFA 458 million to the White Nile Petroleum Operating Company.On June 27 2008, the Douala Port Authority would file for an appeal but their request was frustrated after the Court of Appeal dismissed the case. This news was broken to them by the Douala Court of appeal.
PAD then resorted to pay the money, but their willingness to comply duly, was inconsistent-the Board of Directors disregarding administrative procedures that warranted the Cameroon embassy in Paris to take into effect this decision, voted a decision to instruct the General Manager to pay in the money in 4 installments. The General Manager Jean Marcel Mounoumé and his Deputy, Arsène Essomba Eloundou co-signed and issued the first installment -a check of FCFA 91.6 million supposedly to the White Nile corporation.
Later, it would seem that, this money did not reach the White Nile corporation. It was tracked to a certain Patrice Tsimi Enyengue, a businessman who imposed himself as a ‘senior official’ and representative of the company. Unfortunately, there were no supporting documents to justify his attachment with the said White Nile corporation. The catch here was, there was a previous transaction between the Douala PAD and the White Nile corporation in which the latter had sent to them their official bank account number. This meant, PAD could not use this as an excuse to claim they never had the correct bank details of their business partner. The White Nile corporation kept on waiting for the money that never came.
When quizzed by the Special Criminal Court in 2013 on this glaring mistake, their response according to the TCS’s final report indicated that they, in complicity with Tsimi Patrice, had embezzled the FCFA 458 million. It also revealed that, it was the General Manager and his deputy who provided Mr. Tsimi Patrice, with all necessary documents to facilitate the transaction and eventual withdrawal of this FCFA 458 million.