Mozambique: International Arrest Warrants Issued in Cedsif Case

Maputo — The Mozambican judicial authorities have issued international arrest warrants against three fugitives, named as Manuel Luis Machava, Benjamim Luis Mucavele and Carlos Manuel Pinto, who are accused of masterminding the theft of 155 million meticais (about 2.2 million dollars) from the Mozambican treasury, reports Wednesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.

The money was allegedly stolen via the Centre for the Development of Financial Information Systems (CEDSIF), an institution linked to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, must be obliged to return the stolen money.

Five people have been charged, but when the trial began, on 24 August, only two of the accused were in the dock. They are Gama Nhampalele, a CEDSIF computer technician, and Liliana Bule, an official from one of the companies that allegedly received part of the stolen money.

The accused are charged with embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and the use of electronic means to commit theft and fraud.

The prosecution says that the 155 million meticais were transferred from the public treasury to the accounts of several companies, some of which belong to staff who work for the Mozambican Tax Authority (AT), and have commercial relations with some CEDSIF staff. The thefts began in 2017.

CEDSIF has been shaken by financial scandals, involving the fraudulent withdrawal of money from the Treasury. The crimes were carried out by CEDSIF officials who have the computer passwords needed to enter the CEDSIF system and move money from the Treasury accounts.

CEDSIF was set up to modernise the public finance management information systems, for all state and municipal bodies. CEDSIF effectively became the guardian of all the Mozambican state’s electronic money.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique