By Paul Nicholson
June 11 – More detail surrounding the commercial deals between French equipment supply company Tactical Steel and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and its embattled president Ahmad Ahmad are emerging, with a new company, ES Pro Consulting, now being linked to the parties.
It is believed the ES Pro Consulting company is a vehicle to split CAF payments to Tactical Steel to avoid paying French tax or at least make the payments more tax efficient.
To date allegations around the Tactical Steel deal have centred on a cancelled Puma contract/ that was then passed on to Tactical Steel who supplied the same equipment (there was a small increase in equipment volume) at more than three times the cost Puma had quoted. Tactical Steel is run by Romauld Seillier and his wife. Seillier is a close associate of Loïc Gérand, the Franco-Malgache who is the personal attache of Ahmad.
One issue which has sparked the interest of French anti-corruption police who detained Ahmad in Paris last week, is suspicion around why two Turkish bank accountsappear to have received money from CAF relating the payment of Tactical Steel invoices.
The Turkish accounts belong to a small shop selling building materials SERIN HIRDAVAT which is located in Ankara and a private address in Istanbul located on Tanzimat Street in the Goztepe district.
Sellier, who was also questioned by French police in Marseilles last week, says the accounts do not belong to Tactical Steel, but does not explain why he requested payments of Tactical Steel invoices to these accounts or who the accounts belong to.
To compound the issue, details of another company, ES Pro Consulting have now emerged who also appear linked to Tactical Steel contracts and CAF payments. Like Tactical Steel, ES Pro is based in La Seyne sur Mer and located at the same address as the other company of Seillier, ACTI (Boilermaking and Naval Piping).
On October 21, 2018 ES Pro Consulting issued an invoice for $889,412 for the supply of 30,000 balloons. ES PRO Consulting issued the same day, through its UAE subsidiary ES Pro Consulting LTD, another invoice for the delivery of its 30,000 balloons to 54 countries for the amount of $738 670.80.
In correspondence seen by the Tunisie-Foot website, Laurent Emmanuelli, CEO of ES Pro, says in an email there is common ownership between the two companies (Tactical Steel and ES Pro). His explanation was prompted by an attempt to reverse a CAF money transfer for $884,960 that was mistakenly sent to the UAE account instead of the French account. Emmanuelli explained that the separation of billing between ES Pro and Tactical Steel was due to sales tax.
The Tactical Steel scandal is just one of a number of financial issues that have raised questions regarding Ahmad’s integrity. It is the one that has had prominence because of the intervention of French anti-corruption investigators. Others issues raised include using the CAF budget to buy luxury cars, treating Muslim federation presidents to an all expenses paid trip to the Umrah, and the payment of CAF monies directly into federation presidents’ bank accounts.
Ahmad also face several allegations of sexual harassment and even a police report filed against him in the UK. Yet he has still managed to hang on to his position.
He was released by French police last week and has reportedly travelled to Madagascar after the opening match of the Womens’ World Cup. As information of Ahmad’s dealings continues to cascade one watershed moment looks likely to be whether he is brave enough to travel to Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations this month.
With the Egyptians on the war path over Lagradere’s rights in particular, Ahmad could find himself back behind bars but in a new country
See the Tunisie-Foot report at http://www.tunisie-foot.com/home/2019/06/10/caf-leaks-acte-1-affaire-tactical-steel/
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