Ethiopia: Officials accused of embezzling millions of dollars flee country


ESAT News (March 20, 2017)

Two government officials accused of embezzling millions of dollars have reportedly left the country, according to ESAT’s sources.

Director of the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency, Meskele Lera and his deputy Wondwossen Ayele  were accused of squandering close to 100 million dollars obtained from donor countries for the purchase and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

In December last year a report presented to the Parliament disclosed that the two officials have made an illegal purchase of pharmaceuticals worth close to a million dollar.  The Auditor General has also reported to the Parliament that the officials have also failed to distribute pharmaceuticals and medical equipment worth 29 million dollars to health centers.

An investigation was underway when the officials flee the country, according to the sources.

ESAT’s sources also said the officials were able to escape justice and flee the country with the help of higher ups who benefitted from the embezzlement.

Last year, the president of the Development Bank of Ethiopia, Esayas Bahire, left the country in a similar manner after auditing discovered that the Bank had lost about 250 million dollars.