Djibouti arrests officials for money laundering

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Djibouti’s attorney general says an audit has found that billions of francs were embezzled in a fraudulent deal between Ministry of Budget officials and a group of businessmen.

A statement from the prosecutor’s office said: “The Ministry of Budget has misappropriated public funds entrusted to it to cover government expenditures by providing large amounts of services that appear to be counterfeit and non-existent.”

The report said the money was misappropriated from unnecessary equipment and supplies repeatedly demanded by a company, which was said to be rebuilding the ministry building, as well as other equipment including office supplies, computers and equipment worth billions of francs. ”

The prosecutor said two officials from the Ministry of Budget and a former minister had been arrested.

He also said that some of the traders involved in the embezzlement and other members of the investigation have been arrested.

According to the prosecutor, the investigation confirmed that there was a fraudulent deal between a group of businessmen and officials of the Ministry of Budget, which embezzled billions of francs of national assets.

The prosecutor added that several traders had pleaded guilty to the charges and had returned some of the illegal money they had acquired through fraudulent ways in the process.

The investigation will continue, according to the Attorney General and the perpetrators will be referred to the Attorney General’s Office, for justice.

The detainees and all the accused could not be immediately available for comment.

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