Cameroon: Corruption Watchdog Finds $62 Million Hole in State Coffers

A probe by Cameroon's anti-graft body found that 45 million euros ($62 million) in public funds had been lost or embezzled, according to a report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP Friday.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac) said in its first report since its creation by President Paul Biya in 2006 that the money had gone missing from the public works ministry, the general treasury and the maize industry.

"The budgetary resources the state invests in road building would be enough to build three times as many roads" if corruption were eradicated, the report said.

The report is based on investigations conducted by Conac in 2009.

Biya in 2006 launched an anti-graft campaign named Operation Sparrowhawk.

But foreign watchdogs say Cameroon remains one of the world's most corrupt states and that billions have been siphoned away under the 30-year-old regime. - ANP/AFP

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