[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
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.