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Vol 57 No 24

Published 2nd December 2016

Timis's seam of woe

The spotlight falls once more on the mining magnate as controversy dogs his business activities in West Africa

Three legal and political disputes mark the end of a rare spell out of the limelight for Vasile Frank Timis since the collapse of African Minerals Limited (AML), his mining company that was publicly listed in Britain and focused on Sierra Leone. A case against him before the High Court in London brought by metals trader Gerald Metals has revealed details of how his extensive web of offshore companies works and how he used Senegalese oil assets as security for an iron ore deal in Sierra Leone. In Senegal and Burkina Faso, investigations are under way into how Timis obtained access to oil licences and mining sale contracts via cosy relationships with high-ranking government officials in Africa. Officials in both countries have called for his prosecution, as well as officials of the previous governments. They want to know how he was often able to shoulder aside better qualified companies.

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