LAM records loss of three million dollars due to embezzlement

LAM records loss of three million dollars due to embezzlement
LAM records loss of three million dollars due to embezzlement

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambique Airlines (LAM) recorded a financial loss of around three million dollars in December as a result of embezzlement.

According to LAM’s Restructuring Project Manager Sérgio Matos, who was speaking to reporters on Monday, in Maputo, the company is tracing the POS (Point of Sale) machines to identify the mechanism used to divert the funds.

“Two weeks ago we started an operation to find out where the money is going. We’re selling more but the company isn’t getting all the money”, he said, adding that “we did a lightning job with LAM’s internal security and collected almost all the POS, and from LAM’s 20 ticket points of sale, we had collected 81 POS by Sunday.”

According to Matos, there are some shop owners who do not know the owner of the POS, “that’s why we’ve collected them so that internal security can follow up.”

Matos said that to his surprise, on the same day that they collected the POS machines, others were up and running after a few hours “and no-one could explain why the POS were there.”

Regarding the collection of cash, which is usually done with security companies based in LAM, Matos found that the companies sometimes only receive the bordereaux after three days.

Matos said LAM also discovered that money had been drained to buy impossibly large amounts of fuel.

“If an aircraft has a maximum fuel capacity of 80 tonnes, how is it possible for the same aircraft to be fuelled with 95 tonnes? Where are the remaining 15 tonnes?”, he asked.

Matos believes that some LAM employees are deliberately sabotaging the company, and are responsible for planting hostile stories in the press,

“Some LAM workers have used company funds to buy their own homes and when these employees are contacted, each one comes up with a justification, and we believe that it may be the same group that is using the media, in order to give an image that the company is not at a good stage”, he said.

The company had to postpone five flights scheduled for Sunday but Matos denied this was because of the debts LAM owes to the fuel companies. He said that the publicly owned fuel company, Petromoc, simply did not have any jet fuel to sell on Sunday. Later in the day, when Petromoc replenished its stocks, the LAM aircraft were refueled.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened”, said Matos.

Matos admitted that LAM has a large debt to Petromoc, which he put at 70 million meticais (about 1.1 million US dollars). This is a far cry from the 600 million dollars mentioned by an unnamed Petromoc source, interviewed on Monday by the independent television station, STV.

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