6 February 2013

Mozambique: 31 Cases Processed By Anti-Corruption Office in January

Maputo — Mozambique’s Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption (GCCC) laid criminal charges in 13 cases of corruption in January, and submitted a further six to courts for trial.

According to GCCC spokesperson Bernardo Duce, addressing a Maputo press conference on Wednesday, these were among 31 cases processed by the GCCC last month.

Duce said that one of the cases involves four officials of the Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) who, in the process of collecting tax revenue from importers, diverted into their own pockets 364,000 meticais (about 12,130 US dollars). Investigations into this case were concluded in January, and formal charges have been laid.

Another case involves five officials from a provincial directorate of industry and trade who are accused of helping themselves to 109,340 meticais from fees for issuing permits and from inspections of commercial establishments. This case has been dealt with quickly since the crimes occurred in January and were immediately investigated and charges brought.

Duce said that three officials of a provincial directorate of justice are accused of taking a bribe of 200,000 meticais from a contractor in exchange for awarding him a contract for construction work on the local civil identification services.

There is also a case involving a police officer who took a bribe from a suspect and in return tore up the case file against him

Among the cases which have not yet been formally charged is one involving two AT officials who allegedly tried to extort 200,000 meticais from a foreign businessman. The businessman was owed two million meticais in VAT (Value Added Tax) rebates. He received the money, and then the two officials demanded ten per cent because they had speeded the process up for him.

“The businessman denounced the extortion and we are working on the matter”, said Duce.

Work to investigate cases denounced to the GCCC is under way and Duce promised that, no matter how long the investigations take, “we shall always take those implicated to court one by one”.

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