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Troops jailed for Ivorian robbery

by Mark5019 / June 22, 2005 9:50 AM PDT

Twelve French peacekeepers have been found guilty of stealing money from a bank in Ivory Coast, which they were supposed to be guarding last year.
They were sentenced to between two months and a year each in prison by a military court in Paris.

The soldiers were accused of stealing the equivalent of about $400,000 from the bank in the western town of Man.

Some allegedly bought digital cameras and mobile phones with the money and sent them to their families in France.

They were part of a 4,000-strong French force sent to restore order in Ivory Coast after a rebellion began in 2002.

Six other French soldiers have been accused of stealing nearly $20,000 worth of CFA francs from another branch of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) in the rebel headquarters of Bouake last year.

They are expected to stand trial later this year.

'Betraying mission'

The robbery in rebel-held Man came as banks throughout the eight countries of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) were in the process of replacing a 1992 series of banknotes with more secure bills.


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