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Madagascar: Convicted Former Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo Escapes To Switzerland

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Sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with a fine of 6 billion ariary during a trial that took place on September 27, former Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo has managed to leave the Big Island to escape justice.

According to an article published by a Mayotte newspaper, he arrived in Mayotte on Saturday, October 16, by a small motorized boat called Kwassa. The former tenant of Mahazoarivo would have reached this island via Nosy-Be. Only 340km separate the perfumed island from the coast of Mayotte. He would have been lodged at the Maharajah hotel in the Mamoudzou district. As a fugitive since September 27, the day of his conviction in absentia, Jean Ravelonarivo could not be found. He was certainly preparing his escape abroad. A move that he would never have succeeded in accomplishing without complicity, probably from above. According to Mayotte la 1ère, the former PM left Mayotte on Friday, October 22 by an Air France flight to Paris, the French capital. The final destination would be Switzerland where he will spend his exile. The same source also indicates that he holds a three-year visa that he obtained in Madagascar by the French authorities.

All those convicted in the case of large-scale embezzlement within CNaPS, or almost all of them, have managed to get away. The former Director General of this state company, Raoul Arizaka Rabekoto, considered the mastermind of this case, while he was subject to a ban on leaving the territory (IST), managed to leave the Big Island by a private flight via Nosy-Be on February 19, 2020, while at the time, the borders of Madagascar were still closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As this article goes to press, the two “accomplices”, both convicted for the same case, are probably in Zurich. This would also be the case of a third person, a woman who has been placed under a detention order in the Antanimora prison for the same CNaPS case. While officially she is in prison, this woman has disappeared and was conspicuous by her absence during the trial of September 27. According to information, she is also currently abroad.

Many observers suspect large-scale corruption around this case. How did they manage to evade justice? How did they manage to obtain travel documents when Raoul Arizaka Rabekoto and Jean Ravelonarivo were subject to a travel ban? How is it that so many people can leave Madagascar so easily by sea, but also by air while our borders were still closed? We are now waiting for an explanation from the responsible authorities. As a reminder: the two personalities have been convicted of favoritism, abuse of office, forgery and misappropriation of public funds.

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