Chad on Thursday rejected allegations made in the U.S. that President Idriss Deby was paid a $2 million bribe in exchange for providing a Chinese energy company with oil rights without international competition.
The U.S. announced charges on Monday against former Hong Kong Home Secretary Chi Ping Patrick Ho and former Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Gadio for allegedly funnelling bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda.
“The government is indignant and questions this fierce attack against our head of state,” Chad’s government said in a statement late on Wednesday, adding that Mr. Deby had always sought transparency in the country’s natural resources sectors.
The U.S. Justice Department alleged that Mr. Gadio received $400,000 from Ho via wire transfers through New York to act as a go-between for bribes to Mr. Deby on behalf of an unnamed energy firm headquartered in Shanghai.
Neither Ho nor Mr. Gadio, who were both arrested on Nov. 16, have commented publicly on the allegations against them.
Landlocked Chad pumps about 130,000 barrels of oil per day.
It ranks third-from-bottom on the UN Human Development Index and 159th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.