Dakar - The son of Senegal's former leader Abdoulaye Wade
was in jail on Thursday after being charged with corruption over the amassing
of a fortune valued at more than $1bn, a ministry of justice source said.
Karim Wade, who held a number of cabinet posts during his
father's presidency, was sent to Dakar's main prison under heavy police escort
just before midnight, witnesses said, after he was charged with "illicit
Seven alleged accomplices also placed on remand include a
Senegalese businessman of Lebanese origin, a former head of airport operator
Aeroports du Senegal and two officials from airport ground handling company
Aviation Service Senegal (Senegal AHS), the ministry source told AFP.
They have been charged with "complicity in illicit
enrichment", along with Wade's former communications adviser and two
others about whom no information has been given.
Wade is alleged to have acquired companies and real estate
at home and abroad by corrupt means, including Dubai Port World, which runs the
port container terminal in Senegal's capital Dakar and Moroccan bank BCME.
The 44-year-old's arrest on Monday came just hours after his
legal team had filed a dossier of more than 2 000 pages in response to an order
from Senegal's anti-corruption court to explain the provenance of assets
allegedly worth over $1.4bn.
Chief anti-corruption prosecutor Alioune Ndao said he had
ordered Wade's detention after deciding he was not satisfied with the
"relevance" of the dossier.
Wade, who was not present at the court, denies corruption
and says his vast fortune is entirely legitimate.