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Vol 56 No 19

Published 25th September 2015

Frank’s fickle fortunes

The self-styled Emperor of West African Resources has seen his empire’s foundations badly shaken in the past year

In the face of tumbling commodity prices, the operations of Vasile Frank Timis in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone have sunk, stopped producing or come under the increased scrutiny of regulators around the world. Private and institutional investors who lost heavily in his now defunct, publicly-listed Sierra Leone iron-ore mining company, African Minerals Limited (AML), are recovering from the shock of their losses and starting to ask searching questions about the legitimacy of the deals that secured his hold on the continent. In London, Timis's operational base, his long-standing team has been disbanded and he has vacated his Stratton Street offices in the heart of London's Mayfair district. Sources close to Timis, formerly Britain's wealthiest Australian, say he has 'gone to ground' but he remains adamant that he will reverse his fortunes. His new office, Africa Confidential understands, is in Berkeley Street, only one block from the old office.

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