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A network of corruption within the Mozambican Ministry of Finance was discovered and dismantled last week, according to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Carta de Mocambique”.
According to the paper’s sources within the Ministry, six officials in the Debt Service Department, in the National Treasury Directorate, have been suspended.
Those implicated had manipulated the computerised Single Treasury Account (CUT) and exaggerated the sums that should be paid to creditors, including the debts to companies that had provided services to the state but had not been paid.
Fraudulent transfers were made to certain creditors, while other sums were paid into the accounts of fictitious beneficiaries set up in local commercial banks.
The scheme had been under investigation for some years, the paper said. Some of the creditors had alerted the Ministry. Thus one official in the Debt Service Department allegedly told companies which had provided services to the state, that he could speed up payment of the debt, provided they paid 30 per cent to him.
The paper’s sources said the amounts stolen ran into “billions of meticais” (a billion meticais is equivalent to 16.1 million US dollars at current exchange rates). But only a careful forensic audit of the CUT computer system, as well as of the banks and companies believed to be involved, and a reconciliation of all the financial transactions made by the Debt Service Department in recent years will allow a more exact estimate of the amount of money that has disappeared.
“Carta de Mocambique” says it has attempted to contact Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane, without success. The National Director of the Treasury, Adriano Ubisse, asked the paper to submit a list of questions in writing. It did so twice within the past week, but has received no answer.Source: AIM