Maputo — Five officials in the Maputo City offices of the Mozambican National Immigration Service (SENAMI) have been accused of the theft of state funds amounting to more than 17 million meticais (about 277,000 US dollars).
Among those allegedly involved is the former spokesperson of SENAMI. Cira Fernandes, according to the new spokesperson for the service, Celestino Matsinhe.
Matsinhe told journalists on Friday that Fernandes is continuing to work at SENAMI, but the other four have been detained. He declined to go into detail, on the grounds that the case is still under investigation.
However, according to other SENAMI sources Cira Fernandes is accused of facilitating the illegal entry of Nigerian citizens into Mozambique, and these people became involved in a banking fraud.
The case has been investigated by the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC), and it is expected that those involved will be formally charged within the next few days.
Although the theft was only discovered in 2018, the money seems to have disappeared in March and April 2017. This was when the Maputo City SENAMI management was being replaced.
The stolen money was part of the SENAMI revenue for March 2017. That revenue should have been 48.7 million meticais - but only 31.2 million showed up in the SENAMI accounts.