The aide was arrested alongside a French associate, with the duo suspected of seeking a bribe from precious stone miner Gemfields.
The Madagascan president’s chief of staff has been arrested in London after being suspected of seeking a bribe from precious stone miner Gemfields, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Monday.
Romy Andrianarisoa, who works for Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, was arrested along with a French associate at a meeting in London where the NCA said they were believed to have attempted to solicit a bribe to secure licences to operate in the African island nation.
Neither spokespeople for Rajoelina’s office nor representatives for the suspects were immediately available to comment.
The NCA said the pair were seeking around 225,000 pounds ($285,000) in upfront charges as well as a 5-percent equity stake.
“I am grateful to Gemfields for bringing this matter to our attention and for their ongoing cooperation with the investigation,” Andy Kelly, head of the NCA’s international corruption unit, said in a statement.
“Their quick reactions to engage the NCA have been critical to our ability to pursue this case.”
The UK-based miner owns the Faberge jewellery brand, operates ruby and emerald mines in southern Africa and has been exploring setting up operations in countries including Ethiopia and Madagascar.
Andrianarisoa, 46, and French national Philippe Tabuteau, 54, appeared in court on Saturday and have been remanded in custody until their next hearing in London on September 8.