MOGADISHU (HORN OBSERVER) Somalia’s Attorney General, Saleban Mohamed Mohamud on Saturday issued a stern warning to government officials and their alleged allies in what he termed a widespread probe into public corrupt business recently made to plunder anti-Coronary funds intended.
At a rare press conference, AG said more than 20 officials from the Ministry of Health were arrested, several bank accounts frozen while police seized large evidence, including false receipts, payment notices, checks and false offers.
“The Attorney General’s Office (AG) has received a corruption case which was initiated by the Ministry of Health and later spread to other ministries and government offices. After investigations, the Office of AG seized checks, banknotes, receipts for payments created to plunder public funds among other evidence, “said AG Mohamud.
“We have detained more than 20 officials including directors of the Ministry of Health, heads of government and project coordinators, consultants and staff from private companies working with the Ministry of Health,” he adds.
Hundreds of thousands of missing aid money
The revelations came after the Director General of the Ministry of Health threatenedAbdullahi Hashiand Ministry of Finance Mohamud Mohamed Bule in early April after the officials could not provide hundreds of thousands of support money that was supposed to fund and support the Coronavirus quarantine facility in Mogadishu at a time when dozens of people aredie of the virusevery day, a revelation that will increase concern among international donors who continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Somalia’s support and development programs.
The arrests in April went even further, according to AG, with other senior officials either suspended or kept in police custody. Those arrested now include a dozen senior officials working in the health, nutrition and maternity wards of the Ministry of Health as well as managers of private companies who are expected to have helped to pillage the plan.
But AG says the probe now leads to other offices because the traces of the stolen assets and the analysis of the financial data point to other government officials.
“AG’s office is also investigating other ministries and officials who, in our belief, have lost public funds. I want to assure the Somali people that we will soon catch them, ”promised AG Mohamud.
AG’s announcement came when new investigations will open for allegations of missing funds affecting Labor and Social Affairs Minister Sadik Warfa during the recently launched “Baxnaano program”, A government-led project that is trying to delivercash transfersas income support to the poorest families in 21 districts across the country. The program is supported by the World Food Program (WFP) and UNICEF under funding from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Source: HORN OBSERVER