Aide to Madagascar’s Rajoelina arrested on bribery charge

By Laureen Fagan - 15 August 2023 at 8:41 pm
Aide to Madagascar’s Rajoelina arrested on bribery charge

The United Kingdom says it has arrested Romy Andrianarisoa, the 46-year-old chief of staff to President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar, as part of a corruption investigation that also led to the arrest of a French partner.

The UK’s National Crime Agency said Andrianarisoa, as well as 54-year-old Philippe Tabuteau, have been charged with bribery offenses involving licenses for Gemfields, a UK mining company, to operate in Madagascar. They were asking for a 5% equity stake in the business as well as US$285,000 to be paid up front, the NCA said in a statement.

The two were arrested at a meeting in London after Gemfields notified authorities. They appeared in court on Saturday and will have their next hearing on September 8 in the UK.

“The CPS made the decision to authorize charges after reviewing a file of evidence from the NCA relating to allegations of bribery,” said Joanne Jakymec of the prosecutor’s office. “Criminal proceedings against Ms. Andrianarisoa and Mr. Tabuteau are active and they have a right to a fair trial.”

As yet, there is no direct link between the case and Rajoelina, who served as president from 2009 to 2013 and was again elected in 2019, despite a court challenge from the opposition. He is expected to announce within the next few weeks his intentions about running again in the November elections.

Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia and Montepuez Ruby Mining in Mozambique. Oriental Mining SARL, a 100% subsidiary of Gemfields, holds exploration interest in emeralds, rubies, and sapphires on Madagascar.

Image: Gemfields Zambia

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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