Kamel Benali, Imaginary Vice President of Crans Montana Forum

Increasingly present on the continent, Moroccan Kamel Benali mixes diplomatic ambitions and business. His goals? African dictatorships. But what is his real role in the Crans Montana Forum, where he claims to be vice president?

Founded by Swiss Jean-Pascal Delamuraz and Jean-Paul Carteron, the Crans Montana Forum (CMF) has been in existence for 35 years “with the mission of building a better world”. For several years, apart from Jean-Paul Carteron, the current president of the forum, only one Moroccan has navigated the diplomatic sphere. Kamel Benali introduces himself as “Vice President of the Crans Montana Forum and Ambassador of the World Diplomatic Academy”, an arm of the CMF. But Jean-Paul Carteron, head of the event, which was soon joined by the Journal de l’Afrique, said, contrary to what Kamel Benali said, “There is no vice-president at the Crans MontanaForum. I am responsible for the actions, choices and strategies that are carried out.”

However, Kamel Benali wears the CMF “pin” on his jacket, which he proudly wears as a Legion of Honor. Jean-Paul Carteron quickly became friends with the Moroccan barbers, who were known to be friendly. “During the two forums he attended, he impressed everyone with his engagement in engagement and the spontaneous creation of friendly and interactive groups among participants,” he explains. Benali gradually adopted CMF until he appeared in most of the photos and videos of the event. Jean-Paul Carteron says: “I could see how much Mr. Benali loved such memories, which I liked.” Several sources in French political circles confirm that “Camel Benali knows how to be ‘in the picture’, always in the right place at the right time.”

Crans Montana Forum, Kamel Benali’s Trojan Horse

In addition to CMF affiliates such as the IUHEI Crans Montana Institute, the “meeting center”, the World Diplomatic Academy, which distinguishes personalities, or even the Association of Ambassadors, Kamel Benali promotes Effective Networking. “As far as I know, this is Mr. Benali’s company, because most of the businessmen involved in our activities have such a company,” sweeps Jean-Paul Carteron. However, one of the businessman’s former service providers explains, “Kamel Benali combines CMF tickets with his lucrative consulting activities.” This half surprises the president of the forum: “Mr. Benali’s professional offers to someone belong only to him and his company. I’m not surprised, given his enthusiasm, that he was able to offer some of his potential clients access to the Forum. But still, the relevant persons should be invited to it.”

Read: [Série] African Fraudsters: Hushpuppi, From ‘Browsing’ to Money Laundering

For several years, Kamel Benali has traveled to dictatorships to try to sell communications or strategy services. For this, he relies on Cartero’s network, which after several years of cooperation he is now trying to push aside. An example of Sudan’s Vice President Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo’s approach. Benali presented his younger brother with his academy’s “Young Leader” badge – “It’s the kind of ‘paper’ you hand out too easily to young and future ‘hopeful leaders'”, concludes Jean-Paul Carteron – and forced him to join the bloodthirsty Sudanese soldier in his international lobbying. will manage. With the promise of bringing it to the top of the basket of its network, the Prime Minister…Estonia, Kaja Kallas. For his part, the president of the Crans Montana Forum, Kamel Benali, leaves: “For 37 years, the Crans Montana Forum has strictly and without exception made its activities the only Forum and dedicated to its exceptional organization. CMF does not engage in business, does not provide services and has never, for example, accepted communication mandates for anyone,” assures Jean-Paul Carteron.

From “Kamal carpet” to Kamel Benali

If he is willingly playing on this uncertainty to get closer to heads of state, Kamel Benali knows where he is going. To rub shoulders with the greats of this world, Kamel Benali relied on several people well integrated in the African sphere, from Vincent Miclet, one of the icons of the “Françafrique” to the former French budget minister Jerome Jahuzac. through Robert Burgi, who was convicted of illegal financing of a political party, or, finally, Bernard Kushner, who was accused of a conflict of interest between his public and private activities in Africa, had undeclared funds in his account in Switzerland and Singapore. With the leitmotif: the more heads of state are isolated from the international community, even in rare cases, the easier they become prey. The Moroccan went to the investment of Guinean president Alpha Condé in December 2020 with the hope of taking his contract. Without result.

As long as the contract is closed, the customer doesn’t care. Benali seeks revenge after being shadowed by Jean-Paul Carteron. “He’s a revenger and we can’t take one thing away from him: he’s willing to do anything to succeed,” concludes a close friend of Efficient Network. For Moroccans, it all started in the Paris region. His father runs a furniture and carpet store, Carrefour de l’Orient, with a heavy Moroccan accent. What is it worth to Kamel Benali, who in his youth was nicknamed “Kamal’s Carpet” in reference to his admiration for businessman Bernard Tapie. It will also house several companies in the Carrefour de l’Orient. Because “Benali presents himself as a ‘serial entrepreneur’, but he is famous for creating empty shells without offices or employees,” explains a former employee.

Read: [Série] Fraudsters of Africa: Philippe Simo, the “smooth-talking” entrepreneur

His appointments, Kamel Benali, also make them in offices he rents by the hour in the “8th arrondissement of Paris”. He meets prospects with the mediator Hasan Mebarki, who introduces himself as “film producer”, “administrator of Elitavia” and “best friend of Gerard Depardieu”, or even Arnaud Sanchez, accused of fraud with “Talim”. Center for elected officials”. In fact, moreover, if he spends most of his time in Paris – he has a French residence permit – Benali is actually living in a tax haven. “It’s all just the wind,” Morocco’s former close friend continues. Even his past is just a story.

In 2013 and 2014, Efficient Network worked with the Iraqi National Business Council (INBC) and the National Investment Commission in Iraq to read Benali’s CV. However, according to Cypriot legal records, Efficient Network is a company incorporated in Nicosia in 2021. Being on the side of African presidents, Benali never hesitates to show his photos next to Bissau-Guinea President Umaro Sissoko Embalo and confirm what he wants to hear. it finances some of the ECOWAS chief’s visits. This is denied by sources close to Bissau. Others argue that Embalo has distanced himself from a businessman who was considered too frivolous.

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