I Coast cocoa bosses get 20 yrs
07 November 2013, 11:55
Abidjan - Fourteen former bosses of Ivory Coast's cocoa sector - the world's number one producer - have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a major embezzlement case, according to the Abidjan court's ruling seen by AFP.
Another 13 managers were acquitted in the case involving hundreds of millions of euros embezzled between 2002 and 2008.
The probe into the embezzlement was opened in October 2007 at the request of former president Laurent Gbagbo and led to the arrest of almost all of the managers in the sector, including executives close to the former head of state.
Ivory Coast has about 35% of the world cocoa market, and cocoa and coffee account for 40% of its export revenue and 20% of its gross national product.