Gabon: 3 000 fake govt employees unmasked
05 September 2013, 12:31
Libreville - A corruption investigation in Gabon has revealed
the existence of about 3 000 fake civil servants who receive monthly government
salaries despite holding no official positions, officials said.
The tiny, oil-rich Central African nation's bloated civil
service employs about 70 000 workers and serves a population of 1.5 million.
"The beneficiaries regularly received monthly salaries
despite not belonging to any ministry," State Prosecutor Sidonie Flore
Ouwe said on Wednesday.
"We have already seized some of them with counterfeit
diplomas and fake assignments," she said, adding that those involved in
the scam would be prosecuted.
Some suspects have been arrested, Ouwe added.
"This mafia-like network has branches in higher
education establishments and in some administrations," said Maurice
Ekogha, an advisor at Gabon's Budget Ministry.
The government had estimated that there were up to 10 000
fraudulent state employees, which cost Gabon about 25 billion CFA francs ($50.30m)
in salaries every year.
In 2009, it launched an overhaul of the civil service and
fired 800 employees. Another 2 500 were questioned on suspicion of illegally
receiving multiple government salaries.
Although its oil resources and small population give it one
of Africa's highest per capita income levels, wealth in Gabon is unevenly