Karim Wade, the son of Senegal former President Abdoulaye Wade, was last night formally charged with corruption and stealing state money to enrich himself, and therefore transferred at midnight to the notorious Reubess Prison, alongside his six accomplices.
The arrogant minister of earth and skies – as most Senegalese called him – will have to wait a little longer before appearing in court, as investigators have widened their search for luxury property and stolen cash and treasures hidden and placed in countries such as US, UK, France, Panama, Luxembourg and the Virgin Islands.
But the family of Wade, including his French mother, said they were not taking it lightly, and have recruited at least 60 lawyers to defend their billionaire son. Wade’s fortune is estimated at over 1 billion euros (694 billion FCFA), according to Senegal’s national prosecuting authority. He also said to own at least 50 luxury cars and 15 companies.
Wade, a former ‘super minister’ in his father’s government, was once tipped to become Senegal’s president.
Many people in the Senegalese capital Dakar have voiced their happiness and relief at Wade’s fall from grace, saying his arrogance and love for crazy and high life have paid him off, adding that their wish is to see him rot in jail.
Photo: Karim Wade with his father during happier times.