Mozambican authorities have arrested twenty-two government workers – mainly traffic police officers for their involvement in a ghost payment scandal that has cost the country over $6.4m.
According to the anti-graft body, the Mozambican Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption, the fraud took place over a three months period – from July to September 2017.
The BBC reports that the body’s spokesman Cristovao Mondlane confirmed that 18 of the 22 detainees were caught in the act.
These state workers retrieve the money claiming to be paying for services provided by ghost companies - set up by them or relatives.
“These state workers retrieve the money claiming to be paying for services provided by ghost companies – set up by them or relatives.
“These relatives do not even meet the prerequisites to be awarded bids. And even without providing any service to the state they are paid. Sometimes, the money is stolen through over-invoicing.”
The southern African country has placed low in corruption reports whiles its laws on anti-corruption are also not fully enforced. The judiciary, police and public services are seen as places where corruption is very rife.