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The delegation of the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC) in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula on Wednesday ordered the detention of seven staff of the Nampula City Municipal Council on charges of falsifying documents.
According to Francisco Bauque, a prosecutor in the Nampula GCCC, the intention was to arrest 11 people, but the other four have disappeared and their current whereabouts are unknown.
All 11 worked in the Nampula City single attendance counter (BAU), which is supposed to smooth the path for businesses applying for licences, permits and the like. According to Bauque, those detained were involved in a scheme to forge invoices, receipts and other documents, and pocketed the money paid by users of the BAU.
He claimed that the corrupt scheme was headed by the City Councillor for Finance. Interviewed by the independent television station STV, Bauque did not estimate how much money had been stolen. He said that the matter had been under investigation since August last year.
Relatives of the detainees protested later on Wednesday outside the Nampula Provincial Prison, where the seven are being held. They protested that they are innocent and demanded their immediate release.
Some of the protesters went further and claimed that the money stolen had gone into the pocket of the Mayor of Nampula, Mahamudo Amurrane, whom they claimed was using it to build a house in Portugal. At least one of those making this accusation told STV she is a member of the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), the party to which Amurrane also belongs.Source: AIM
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