Ethiopia: 59 heads of govt agencies, investors arrested on suspicion of corruption

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (April 12, 2019)

Fifty-nine directors of government enterprises and investors were arrested on suspicion of corruption related to government purchases, which officials said incurred the country the loss of tens of millions of dollars.

Ethiopia’s Attorney General, Berhanu Tsegaye said at a press conference that directors of four government agencies and investors have colluded to carry out the alleged theft in illegal bids and purchases without public tenders.

Directors at the government’s Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency colluded with investors in the illegal purchase of 400 metric tons of wheat, according the Attorney General, who said the crop was bought at 94M USD while there was an investor with 75M USD bid, resulting in the loss of 19M USD.

The wheat was also supposed to be transported using the country’s shipping lines but the directors had decided to use a private shipping line resulting in the loss of 4M USD.

The Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise has conducted illegal purchases amounting to 2M USD. The Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency has performed purchases worth 3.2M USD without public tender, according to the Attorney General.

The official said investigations found that the directors suspected of the crime had personal properties and finances way beyond their income.