[QODLink]
Africa

Gabon unmasks 3,000 fake civil servants

Corruption probe in Central African nation reveals the existence of fraudulent state employees in receipt of salaries.

Last Modified: 05 Sep 2013 02:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Gabon's government estimated that there were up to 10,000 fraudulent state employees [AFP]

A corruption investigation in Gabon has revealed the existence of about 3,000 fake civil servants who receive monthly government salaries despite holding no official positions, officials said.

The oil-rich Central African nation's bloated civil service employs about 70,000 workers and serves a population of 1.5 million.

"The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries despite not belonging to any ministry," State Prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe said on Wednesday.

"We have already seized some of them with counterfeit diplomas and fake assignments," she said, adding that those involved in the scam would be prosecuted. Some suspects had been arrested, Ouwe added.

"This mafia-like network has branches in higher education establishments and in some administrations," said Maurice Ekogha, an advisor at Gabon's Budget Ministry.

The government had estimated that there were up to 10,000 fraudulent state employees, which cost Gabon about 25 billion CFA francs ($50.3m) in salaries every year.

In 2009, it launched an overhaul of the civil service and fired 800 employees. Another 2,500 were questioned on suspicion of illegally receiving multiple government salaries.

Although its oil resources and small population give it one of Africa's highest per capita income levels, wealth in Gabon is unevenly distributed.

195

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.