Ivorian Defence minister, Hamed Bakayoko, has strongly denied allegations of being a drug trafficker. A Canadian website, Vice, has been publishing a series of articles suggesting that he was a “major cocaine trafficker.”

But according to Bakayoko, the allegations by the website goes against his principles as well as tarnishes the image of Ivory Coast. In view of these extremely serious and defamatory allegations, he has decided to sue the journalists who wrote the articles.

The country’s security minister for more than seven years noted the results achieved in the fight against drug trafficking resulting in arrests, seizures and dismantling of mafia networks are recognised worldwide.

The Vice website has several offices in North America and Europe, particularly in Belgium. But the former interior minister has not disclosed whether he intends to sue the website and the journalists in Côte d’Ivoire, Europe or the United States

The authors of the articles have refused to comment on the issue. Bakayoko recently acted as Prime Minister when PM Coulibaly was on medical leave in France.

Bakayoko, a close ally of the president, contracted coronavirus weeks back but successfully recovered and resumed his duties.

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