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Rwandan-born French Actress Sonia Rolland Placed Under Formal Investigation in France

This follows her indictment in a probe into the huge fortune of the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo, which prosecutors allege includes ill-gotten assets. In 2003, the beauty queen received an apartment in Paris as a gift from Bongo, with the real estate valued at about $850,000, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien. The French National Prosecutor for Financial Crimes (PNF) confirmed to CNN that Rolland has been put under formal investigation on charges of “concealment and embezzlement of public funds.” No warrant of arrest has been issued against Rolland, the prosecutor’s office said. In a statement sent to CNN, her lawyer Charles Morel said the luxury real estate Rolland acquired from the Bongo family was unsolicited and was only discovered to be questionable after many years. Omar Bongo ruled over Gabon with an iron fist with his decades in power blighted by spiraling allegations of corruption. The late president’s acquisitions in France have been subject to a long-running criminal inquiry by French authorities, with some of his accounts frozen and properties seized. In 2016, two houses belonging to Bongo’s son Ali were seized, one in Nice and the other in the capital, Paris, according to Le Parisien.