Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambican authorities have announced the detention of nine people in a case of misuse of public funds and illegal collection of visa fees at the consulate in Nelspruit, South Africa, 200 kilometres from Maputo.
The nine detainees are part of a group of 48 ‘arguidos‘[formally named suspects] involving employees of the National Migration Service (SENAMI), diplomatic and consular missions of Mozambique in South Africa and other people with no connection to the State, announced the Central Office for Combating Corruption (GCCC).
The illegalities date back to the period between 2016 and 2018 and the investigation has extended to diplomatic missions in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.
On the one hand, public money was used to pay for personal expenses in restaurants, shops, doctors and travel and on the other hand, entry visas to Mozambique were given in exchange for money, without verifying who received them, mainly citizens from China and Bangladesh, recruited by intermediaries.
The intermediaries “collected passports, documents and cash, which were sent to diplomatic missions in South Africa in buses carrying passengers, and in some cases entry visas were granted in less than 24 hours,” the GCCC said in a statement.
“At the border post, the passports were presented to SENAMI, where they were stamped” as if “the legitimate owner” had passed through there, it added.
The arguidos are suspected of embezzlement, corruption, abuse of office, falsification of documents, aiding illegal immigration and association to commit crimes.