Mozambique: A Second Senior INSS Figure Is Detained

Maputo — The former general director of Mozambique's National Social Security Institute (INSS), Baptista Machaieie, was detained in Maputo on Monday, on the orders of the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC), reports Tuesday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".

He is the second senior INSS figure detained in the space of four days. On Friday, the chairperson of the INSS Board of Directors, Francisco Mazoio, was hauled off to prison.

Initially it was thought that Mazoio's detention was in connection with a case involving the company CR Aviation, which allegedly benefitted illicitly from INSS funds. Charges of embezzlement and abuse of office were brought in late 2017 against Mazoio and Machaieie, among others, but until now nobody has been detained.

It now turns out that the latest detentions are in connection with the alleged theft of 100 million meticais (about 1.7 million US dollars, at current exchange rates) from the INSS in the final days of the previous government, under President Armando Guebuza.

The main suspect in this case is Guebuza's Labour Minister, Helena Taipo (the INSS is supervised by the Labour Ministry).

This money was supposedly paid into Taipo's bank accounts by various companies as "gratitude" for the minister's role in signing contracts between them and the INSS - they were thus bribes.

An "autonomous case" in association with this theft has been opened against Mazoio and Machaieie. They are accused of corruption, embezzlement and falsification of documents.

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