Vincent Bollore Detained By Police Amid Corruption Probe Involving Havas

Billionaire Bollore Held by French Police in Corruption Case

Bollore has denied any wrong doing and Tuesday issued a lengthy statement which said the investigation was based on claims by a former employee now serving jail time for stealing from the company.

Groupe Bollore confirmed in a statement its African business interests were under investigation and said the probe related to the billing for work carried out in Guinea and Togo between 2009 and 2010 by its communications business Havas Worldwide.

Its director general, Gilles Alix, and the manager of the worldwide division of its communications subsidiary Havas, Jean-Philippe Dorent, were also taken into custody, a judicial source added.

Months after he became his country's first freely elected president Conde summarily terminated the contract of Conakry port's operator - a subsidiary of French shipping company NCT Necotrans - and gave it to rival Bollore.

France's Bollore group denied any wrongdoing on Tuesday after its boss, billionaire tycoon Vincent Bollore, was detained by police over an enquiry into corruption allegations in Africa.

Last week, he handed over the reins at Vivendi to his son.

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Listed on the stock market, the Bollore Group enjoys strong positions in each of its activities gathered around three poles: Transport and Logistics, Communication and Media, Storage of electricity.

In 2017, Vivendi bought out communications company Havas - chaired by the younger Bollore - from the Bollore Group.

Havas, the advertising agency that is part of Mr Bolloré's empire, allegedly ran the 2010 presidential election campaigns of Alpha Condé in Guinea and Faure Gnassingbe in Togo at discounted prices.

Executives "are happy to cooperate fully" with authorities.

In 2016, Bollore's Africa business was thrust into the spotlight in a French TV documentary highlighting the miserable conditions of underage workers at a subcontractor of a Cameroonian palm oil company, in which the Bollore Group has a stake.

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