BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry said the killing of its honorary consul for the West African state of Benin, Assaad Shaghouri, in neighboring Togo was motivated by theft.
A ministerial statement said Thursday that Shaghouri, a well-known businessman, was on his way back to Lome in Togo from Benin’s economic capital of Cotonou late Wednesday, when his car was sprayed with gunfire as it stopped at a red light.
“Guns were fired from armed men traveling in five cars that had followed Shaghouri’s vehicle, killing him instantly, and injuring his driver,” the statement said.
The statement said the authorities in Benin appointed a senior security officer to carry out an investigation into the incident.
“Shaghouri was expected to inaugurate his new shops La Roche for construction materials a day later,” the statement said, adding that according to the victim’s brother, Joseph Shaghouri, initial investigation had shown that the crime was motivated by theft.
Shaghouri’s body is expected to arrive in Beirut for burial late Friday, the statement said.
The incident happened days after a Lebanese was shot and killed during an attempted burglary in Abidjan, the former capital of the Ivory Coast.