Tuesday, July 23, 2013

■ SENEGAL: Menzies Aviation pulls out of Senegal after local partner is implicated in Karim Wade corruption trial.

Menzies Aviation logoGlobal passenger, ramp and cargo handling services provider, Menzies Aviation, has withdrawn its support and ceased doing business in Senegal after its local partner, Aviation Handling Services (AHS), was placed under judicial administration following an investigation into the alleged corrupt business activities of the former Minister of State for International Cooperation, Regional Development, Air Transport, and Infrastructure, Karim Wade, the son of former Senegalese president, Abdoulaye Wade.

In a press release issued on Friday, Menzies Aviation said it had ceased its support and airport handling activities in Senegal with effect from since Friday, July 19, 2013 at 12:00 GMT after the  provisional [court-appointed] administrator of Aviation Handling Services (AHS), Mr. Sylla, "made some unilateral decisions on the support structure that allows Menzies to perform its obligations under the technical services agreement with AHS." 

As a result of this, Mr Forsyth Black, the director for Africa, Middle East & India operations at Menzies Aviation plc, said his company "was unable to fulfill its obligations under its agreement" with AHS in which it provided commercial, technical and logistical support. Menzies, in conjunction with AHS, had provided ground-handling services at various Senegalese airports including Dakar's Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport.

Mr Wade has been imprisoned since April 17 when he was charged with corruption after failing to bring ‘tangible proof’ of the legitimacy of his current wealth, which is estimated to be over EUR1billion (XFA694 billion). An ECOWAS-backed Court of Justice last week rejected an appeal to release him from prison.

He rejects the allegations claiming they are politically motivated.