Niger: Authorities arrest 14 over US$4mn fraud
Niger’s authorities have arrested and detained a former official, who served in the military junta government of General Saliou Djibo, for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars from the health ministry.
Alhassane Alkaly, who was deputy director at the president’s office, was put behind bars on Friday in Niamey, along with 13 others including civil servants from the finance ministry, national treasury department and businessmen.
They are all accused of embezzling 1.8 billion CFA francs (approximately US$4 million) from the ministry of health through the payment of fake invoices, which reportedly occurred during the transition period led by Gen. Djibo from February 2010 to April 2011.
In June when the fraud was discovered, newly-elected President Mahamdou Issoufou immediately sanctioned three top officials pending further investigation.
The officials, who had been appointed by the transition government, are Moumouni Mounkaila, who was a pay clerk, Amadou Ganda Hamidou, general director of budget, and the finance auditor from the finance ministry.
The 14 arrested people are accused of embezzlement, forgery and use of forge documents, money laundering, corrupt practices and criminal conspiracy.
President Issoufou, who took power last April, has promised to fight corruption in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, according to the UNDP human development indicator, which ranks Niger as 182.Tweet