Official Guilty of Seeking Bribe from Gemfields

Official Guilty of Seeking Bribe from Gemfields
Pic shows Andrianarisoa (courtesy NCA) and rough emeralds (courtesy Gemfields).

A government official in Madagascar has been convicted by a UK court of seeking bribes in exchange for gemstone mining licenses.

Romy Andrianarisoa, 47, who was chief of staff to the country’s president, approached Gemfields, the UK ruby and emerald miner, together with an accomplice.

They offered to arrange meetings with President Andry Rajoelina and high-ranking officials to discuss potential contracts. They were asking for $310,000, plus a 5 per cent equity stake in any subsequent joint venture, with a potential value of as much as $5m.

Gemfields were suspicious about their intentions and reported their concerns to the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which launched a covert operation that resulted in Andrianarisoa and Philippe Tabuteau, 54, being arrested in London in August 2023.

Andrianarisoa was found guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court, London, and is due to be sentenced on 18 March. Tabuteau pleaded guilty in September 2023.

“We are particularly grateful to Gemfields for not only bringing this matter to our attention, but also continuing to work with us throughout the investigation to bring about a successful result,” said the NCA in a statement.

“Romy Andrianarisoa is a corrupt official who chose to enrich herself in the course of her public duties.

“By reporting the pair to the authorities Gemfields have protected their business and those of others from greedy and unscrupulous individuals.”

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