(2015-07-16) Seven staff of the Mozambican customs service, in the central province of Sofala, have been charged with the theft of five million meticais (about 131,000 US dollars), through the falsification of tax receipts, according to Bernardo Duce, the spokesperson for the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC).
Speaking on Wednesday at his monthly press briefing in Maputo, Duce said “what they did was to receive certain amounts from taxpayers, and then falsify the documents proving receipt of those sums, writing down smaller values and pocketing the rest”. The case has now been sent to court for trial.
Duce said the GCCC is investigating the case of the head of the social welfare department, in the Maputo Provincial Directorate of Veterans Affairs, who is accused of setting up a bank account in 2010 where she deposited large sums of money resulting from falsification of documents for the payment of veterans’ pensions.
“During the investigations her house was searched to find documents linking her with the account”, said Duce. “Deposit slips, ATM receipts and other documents were found which proved she was linked to the account”.
He added that documents were also found of other people suspected of operating other accounts through which public funds have been drained.
“We don’t yet have an overall figure, since this case is still at the stage of preliminary investigation”, he said. “But I can say that this account was recorded in the system in 2010. Up to January of this year, the monthly allowance in the account was 21,000 meticais”.
Investigations are still under way to establish exactly when the official started using this account to steal public funds. A year’s theft at 21,000 meticais a month would be 252,000 meticais (6,615 US dollars).
In the central city of Chimoio, six officials of a public institution which Duce declined to name have been charged with defrauding the state of about 742,000 meticais.
“These officials had the power to attribute mobile phones and phone airtime vouchers to other public functionaries, under the communications allowance envisaged in the law”, said Duce. “But instead they gave the phones and vouchers to other people who are not public employees and this cost the state 742,000 meticais”.
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