Dakar Matin | 31 October 2016
Pinned for fraud, with damages of more than 8 billion CFA (around 13.5 million USD) to the state of Senegal, Senhuile had agreed to a compromise. However, it only honoured a part of its commitment, and Senegalese customs reacted with strong measures.
We learned from trusted sources that customs agents from the St. Louis brigade recently conducted a raid on Senhuile’s facilities in Ndiael and seized equipment and materials of the Tampieri Financial Group. The operation was motivated by Senhuile management’s failure to comply with commitments it made after being accused of fraud.
Senhuile had taken advantage of incentives from the state of Senegal, created to encourage agricultural investment, and had obtained tax-free equipment which it then sold without making a customs declaration. Customs agents started to investigate after receiving an anonymous tip. The investigation found that the company owed 8 billion CFA to the state of Senegal.
Caught red-handed, CEO Massimo Vittorio Campadese agreed to pay 1.7 billion CFA. But according to our sources, he only paid only 1.1 billion CFA to the Treasury before fleeing abroad as soon as his confiscated passport was returned to him.
Since then, Senhuile management has remained silent, opting for a strategy that backfired. A Senegalese manager of Senhuile decided to contract the services of a mediator to broker an agreement between Senhuile and the customs agency. Paid handsomely, the mediator never contacted the customs agency and has since disappeared.
On 26 September, when Senhuile CEO Massimo Vittorio Campadese returned to Senegal, he received a summons for immediate payment issued by the customs agency. Having received no response from the CEO, customs carried out the raid on the company’s facilities.
Senhuile’s equipment was seized and its bank account frozen. Massimo Vittorio Campadese left Senegal again, and was followed a few days later by the head of the plantation, an Italian envoy originally sent to the Ndiael plantation by the Tampieri Financial Group. The plantation head returned to Senegal less than a week later, accompanied by another Italian who carried out an audit of Senhuile’s financial situation, which is apparently catastrophic.
Indeed, the company has had three consecutive years of losses, which has completely closed the flow of finances coming from Italy through the Tampieri Financial Group. In the end neither the layoff of thousands of workers, the selling off of equipment, nor speculation have succeeded in saving Senhuile from its troubles.
Translated by GRAIN from the original French: http://www.farmlandgrab.org/26646