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Former Mozambican labour minister Helena Taipo, who has been in custody since April over corruption at the National Social Security Institute (INSS), has now been accused by the Central Office to Combat Corruption (GCCC) of alleged involvement in embezzling money from Mozambican workers abroad, according to a report published by Notícias today.
According to the newspaper, the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC) has sent the case to the Maputo City Judicial Court., accusing Helena Taipo and 11 others with the misappropriation of the equivalent to 113 million meticais (around 1.6 million Euros) from the accounts of the Directorate of Migratory Labour (DTM).
According to data Notícias has had access to, the money diverted from DTM accounts came from the contributions of Mozambican miners in South Africa and the hiring of foreign labour in Mozambique
The money was allegedly used to buy vehicles and real estate and also spent on hampers and alcoholic beverages, without legal basis.
In all, twelve defendants are charged in the present criminal case, registered under No. 29 / GCCC / 17-IP, including five civil servants, namely Pedro Taimo, former coordinator of the mining workers project at DTM; Anastacia Samuel Zita, former director of the unit; José António Monjane, former head of the Finance Bureau, and Sidónio dos Anjos Carlos Manuel, an official in the office of then-minister Helena Taipo.
The 12 defendants are charged with crimes of embezzlement, economic participation in business, abuse of trust and forgery. The case, filed on March 22, 2017, was charged on July 29 and referred to the Maputo City Judicial Court, with proceedings now under way in the 10th Criminal Section.
The money was diverted from 13 of the 14 accounts handled by DTM, a body which receives, among other payments, part of the salaries and social security contributions to Mozambican miners working in South Africa.
A portion of the amount diverted was from fees that South African mining companies pay to the Mozambican state for hiring national labour.
The alleged crimes occurred between 2010 and 2014.
Helena Taipo and two other defendants in the DTM case are currently detained in another case related to bribes of around 100 million meticais (1.4 million euros) paid in 2014.
These alleged kickbacks were supposedly paid in return for favouring companies in the construction and the printing sectors in contracts with the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), an entity working under the Ministry of Labour.
Last week, the Mozambican Supreme Court denied the former minister’s request for habeas corpus in the INSS corruption case.Source: Lusa / Noticias