The Comorian Minister of Foreign Affairs suspected of 251,000 euros in social benefits fraud in Reunion

The photo is one that accompanies press releases in the purest style of diplomatic language. Alongside Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Gérald Darmanin, Minister for the Interior and Overseas, the head of Comorian diplomacy, Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, poses on May 9 under the salon chandeliers at the Quai d’Orsay with members of his government. Both countries intend “to reaffirm the friendship which binds France and the Union of the Comoros and to express their wish for a harmonious development of the south-western region of the Indian Ocean”.

Three weeks after suspending maritime links between Mayotte and the Comorian island of Anjouan, President Azali oumani has accepted, since Wednesday, May 17, the resumption of ferry rotations Maria Galanta, which allows the expulsion of undocumented immigrants from the French department. The discussions were tense on this subject. By closing its border, the Comoros thwarted the beginnings of the “Wuambushu” operation to fight against irregular immigration in Mayottewhose initial objective was 20,000 deportations to the border in two months.

In this showdown between Paris and Moroni, the Comorian Minister of Foreign Affairs was not in the most comfortable position to participate in the negotiations. Since November 2020, Dhoihir Dhoulkamal and his wife have been the subject of a preliminary investigation opened by the Saint-Denis de La Réunion prosecutor’s office for alleged fraud at the general social security fund (CGSS) and the family allowance fund (CAF). ) Of the reunion. Justice had launched investigations following revelations from the Journal of Reunion Island indicating that the Comorian Minister, who acquired French nationality in 2000, and his wife, residing in Saint-Denis de La Réunion, were beneficiaries of the active solidarity income (RSA) and affiliated to the complementary universal health cover.

Diplomatic immunity

This investigation by the gendarmes of the Reunion research section was completed several weeks ago. Following verifications carried out by CAF and CGSS controllers, the amount of social benefits and healthcare reimburts received by Mr. Dhoulkamal and his wife is estimated at 251,500 euros for the period 2015-2022. “I am considering criminal prosecution”, observes the prosecutor of Saint-Denis, Véronique Denizot, recalling the principle of equality of all before the law. In the event of referral to the criminal court for “fraud” and “forgery and use and forgery”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs would be judged by default if he did not respond to this summons. Dhoihir Dhoulkamal was not heard in a hearing because, to the knowledge of the gendarmes, the minister has not been to Reunion since 2020 and the start of the investigation. Covered by his diplomatic immunity, he could not have been heard under police custody.

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