Vincent Bolloré, chairman and ceo of Bolloré, has reportedly been placed in police custody in Nanterre, France, as part of an investigation into how his company obtained contracts in Africa.

On the day that its head was detained for questioning, the French transportation company said: "A Bolloré Group subsidiary is under investigation regarding the payment of provisions for communication services in Guinea and Togo that were provided in 2009 and 2010. 

"This investigation is the result of a claim filed against Bolloré Group by a former employee who has been sentenced by a court to three years and nine months in prison without parole and around EUR10 million (USD12.17 million) of damages to the Bolloré Group for misappropriation of assets." 

The statement claimed that its former subsidiary, SDV Africa, did not engage in any illegal actions, and that an independent expert concluded that the transactions fully complied with all laws and regulations.

However, according to a report by the BBC, Bolloré was taken into custody as part of an ongoing investigation into how his company obtained contracts to operate the Lome and Conakry ports in Togo and Guinea respectively.