Congo oil, cash, Manuel Valls… Find out all about the Orion Oil case – Liberation
The case uncovered by “Libé” sheds light on what could be a cycle of misappropriation of Congolese black gold revenues. Synopsis: A company suspected of being a “screen” and its leader are in contact with French personalities.
The systematic disappearance of Congolese oil money
In 2012, the arrest of businessman Lucien Ebata in Paris for possession of large amounts of cash put French customs officials on the trail of Orion Oil: a company suspected of being at the center of a scheme to embezzle state funds. Clan of Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. Investigators attached to Bersi are interested in this“concrete utility” Orion Oil, which acts as a broker in the oil market between producers and distributors. Several hundred million euros would have evaporated.
For ten years, this company had an almost unique supplier and customer: the Congolese National Petroleum Company (SNPC). Orion Oil sells a portion of SNPC’s oil production to major operating energy companies such as Shell. By the way, it has a margin between 0.77% and 8.62%. And for which operation added value? For the investigators, it seems that the activities of one and the other are combined. Read our full survey
Orion Oil is suspected to be some kind of slush fund, which the officials draw at will even for current expenses – driver’s fees, visas of several hundred euros …
The meteoric rise of Lucien Ebata, “the president’s man”.
The wealthy president of Orion Oil, founded in 2008, has established himself as a figure in the African economy. Starting with nothing, he rose through the ranks to become a diplomatic emissary for the Congolese regime. This close adviser of Sassou-Nguesso was indicted in Paris in 2021, specifically for money laundering. Read his portrait
Alligator shoes, palaces and magnificent cruises… Now 53-year-old Lucien Ebata has spent a lot of money, especially in France. Usually in cash and not forgetting to pamper relatives and dignitaries of the Sassou-Nguesso regime. Read the story
Manuel Valls, Orion Oil case surprise guest
Could such a cavalcade of Congolese gifts, paid in cash, have taken place in Paris without the participation of French economic and political figures? In the second part, Let it go French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was in office in 2016, is revealed to be a surprise guest in the file. Investigators suspect that relatives of the former prime minister turned to Lucien Ebata for covert financing of his nascent 2017 presidential campaign. As the politician prepares for a decisive political battle, Hamon, the head of the Socialist Party played between him and Benoit, it appears in Lucien Ebata’s phone conversations, listens: “He is young. Even if he loses, there will be a friendly relationship between the two of us, he will be a new friend for me.” then considered the boss of Orion Oil. Read the questionnaire
DSK, Lewandowski: other figures in history
The good advice of the former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was generously rewarded: Lucien Ebata joined the services of the former French minister in the context of negotiations with an African country seeking an IMF loan in 2018. financial institution. The contract of 800,000 euros caused the suspicions of Bersi investigators. Read the article.
Another public figure appears in the investigation. This is Cedric Lewandowski, Vice President of EDF. Before his meetings with the director of Jean-Yves Le Drian’s cabinet, Lucien Ebata was targeted by two S files from 2013 and 2014, deleted in 2016. According to wiretapping, a powerful counsel would intervene.