Mozambique: Officers At Army Command Charged With Corruption

Mozambique’s Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC) announced on Thursday that it has charged nine officers and civilian staff members at the Command of the Army with money laundering, abuse of position and fraud.

A press release from the GCCC did not give the names of the accused, but said they included two captains. The others are sergeants and civilians.

Some of those accused were involved in processing wages, and between 2010 and 2015 they diverted some of this money to the benefit of their relatives and friends. They paid themselves and others wages and allowances in large sums of cash, which bore no relation to the official wages table in force in the army.

The GCCC said the accused falsified the computer programme used in the payment of wages. They fraudulently added the names of friends and relatives to the list of those who should receive monthly wages, and added the details of some of their own accounts to which money was to be transferred.

In this way, some of the accused managed to pay themselves between three and seven salaries a month, some of them in excess of 100,000 meticais (1,850 US dollars at today’s exchange rates, but worth much more in the years when the money was stolen).

The GCCC estimates that the total stolen from the state was around 36 million meticais, The charge sheet has now been sent to the Maputo City Court.

The GCCC also announced that it is pressing charges of corruption against an official of the Mozambican Tax Authority and a customs clearance assistant.

The tax official worked at the International Maritime Terminal at Maputo Port, and is alleged to have demanded bribes from users of the terminal. In return for the bribes, he promised to speed up the customs clearance of his victims’ merchandise.

The two accused worked a scheme whereby the bribe money was inserted into the documents to be processed. The tax officer prioritized goods whose documents contained the illicit payments, and everything else went to the bottom of the pile.

The two accused were caught red-handed, while the customs clearance assistance was handing over an extra thousand meticais to the tax officer.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique