aof document

Affaire Boubacar Soumare, chef de gare de Kati, Détournement de deniers publics (1934-1937)
in ANS Series 3 M 7 (bis)

Notes © 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Procureur Général à Bamako to Procureur Général après la Cour d'Appel de l'AOF, "Rapport Affaire Boubakar Soumare - Aliou Diarra - Mamadou Cissoko et Alassane Thiam"
(no date [1934])

(p1) This report described the case of Boubacar Soumare, chef de gare de Kita, who consistently embezzled money totaling 29,946.40 francs between 1930 and May 20, 1933, when he was reported to the police. He took the money to cover loans to his friends Cissoko and Thiam. Cissoko was an employee of the Service des PTT. Thiam was merchant. Soumare was aided by Diarra, a railroad employee whose job was to register incoming baggage.

(p3) This is how the plot operated. When a railcar arrived, Soumare collected the freight charges from the end user, but marked the amount in his records as "due" rather than "paid" and pocketed the amount. Then when the next railcar arrived, he covered the first bill with the freight charges from the second. As long as the number of railcars continued to increase, he could cover everything and still extract money from the operation. But the economic crisis caught up with him and he was unable to cover deficits of 13,528.30 francs on February 25, 1933; 9,016.10 francs on March 24, 1933; 4,511.30 francs on May 16, 1933 and another bill of 2,890.70 francs paid by the company Maurel et Prom on May 18, 1933.

(p4) Diarra claimed that Soumare told him "Ca ne te regarde pas" (ignore what you see) and he was afraid to complain since his complaint would pass via Soumare up the chain of command. Instead, he requested a transfer.

The Procureur Général figured that Cissoko and Thiam knew where the money came from, but he couldn't prove it. Soumare's salary was only 2,300 francs per month, and they saw him take the money out of the railroad cash drawer. However, they claimed to know nothing and to believe that Soumare had a good job and an inheritance. He was known to spend large sums of money on women.


Procureur Général de la Cour d'Appel to Procureur Général de Bamako (no date [1934])

(p1) This report offered some additional information about Thiam and Cissoko, and recommended that they be tried as well. Thiam was a "commerçant de moralité suspect" (merchant of suspect morality) who had already been convicted of embezzlement from two different commercial societies (of 18,000 francs and 6,000 francs) and sentenced to repay a third commercial society 34,280 francs. Soumare was "son ami intime" (his intimate friend).

(p18) Cissoko had been fired from the PTT for "detournement" (embezzlement) and had borrowed money wildly to cover his missing funds. He'd even borrowed from the European lover of his wife.


Le Procureur de la République près le Tribunal de Première Instance de Bamako to Monsieur le Procureur Général près la Cour d'Appel de l'AOF, n°112 (Bamako, May 30, 1934)

This document accompanied another document that combined the above two reports as "Rapport à Monsieur le Procureur Général pour saisir la chambre des mises en accusation dans l'affaire Boubakar Soumare et consorts, inculpés de faux, detournement de deniers publics et recel."


Gouverneur Général de l'AOF to Procureur Général, Chef de Service Judiciaire à Dakar, n°3052 L (Dakar, July 30, 1934)

The Directeur de Personnel identified Aliou Diarra as a facteur principal du cadre local supérieur.


Procureur Général près la Cour d'Appel de l'AOF Lanes to Gouverneur Général de l'AOF, Directeur du Personnel (March 15, 1935)

Soumare was sentenced to 2 years in prison with reprieve, plus a 300-franc fine.