Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Etoudi: revelations about Pierre Castel's visit to Paul Biya

Officially, the CEO of the eponymous group came to present his new investment program to the President of the Republic. But this trip had another motivation.

The President of the Republic received the CEO of the Castel group in audience on December 20 at the Palace of Unity. Pierre Castel was accompanied by a strong delegation composed in particular of the French ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guilhou. Officially, the French industrialist came to present to Paul Biya his new investment program, which "relates to the development of agriculture in order to reduce the imports of raw materials used in the manufacture of brewing products." 

An ideal opportunity for the French ambassador to recall that the Castel group has contributed to the development of Cameroon for many decades, through the company of Brasseries du Cameroun in particular. Its annual investments are estimated at 35 billion FCFA, thus creating fifteen thousand direct jobs and thirty-five thousand indirect jobs in our country. 

But within the seraglio, many doubt that Pierre Castel made the trip to Cameroon just to present his new investment program. He whispers that this trip had another motivation. According to reliable indiscretions, by winning this audience with the President of the Republic, the CEO of the Castel group was thus demonstrating his power, him that the French television channel calls the emperor of beer. 

In fact, he owes his fortune, estimated at 12 billion euros, above all to Africa, where he operates in 23 countries in a quasi-monopoly situation and achieves a turnover of more than FCfa 2,900 billion thanks to its privileged relations with African heads of state.

Clearly, it would have been proposed to the Directorate General of Taxes bribes in exchange for a downward revision of taxes due by SABC, the Cameroonian subsidiary of the Castel group. The refusal of the deal by this administration, well aware of its strategic role in the mobilization of state revenues, would have upset the French industrialist who then decided to strike higher. 

A source at the Presidency of the Republic recalls that such an approach is part of his methods. And to remember that on February 28, 2019, the France 2 television channel devoted its magazine "Compl√©ment d'√©tudes" to the one it then qualified as "Baron du rouge". Pierre Castel is presented as a formidable negotiator, reputed to be "very hard in business". 

In the document, an ex-manager of a subsidiary of the Castel group who worked for ten years with the industrial industry confessed under anonymity to having paid bribes to various directors general of African taxes to obtain rebate in the payment of taxes due. 

“It happened to me to pay, to put documents or situations in order. It happened to me to negotiate in the context of annual tax returns, ”he admits. Before giving more damning details for the French CEO: “When we give bribes, we have to have the green light before taking the money out of the box. So bribes have always been covered by the general management of the Castel group. So, of course, Pierre Castel of course ”.