On Tuesday, a Mogadishu court heard that employees from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank headquartered at Aden Adde Airport used forged stamps and paperwork to launder millions of dollars.
According to the prosecution, the accused officials utilised these forged documents and stamps to avoid legal procedures in the airport’s revenue divisions.
Farah Abdirahman Jama, Deputy Prosecutor, told the court that his office had submitted copies of the documents discovered during their investigation, some of which were fake, and some of which had fake stamps on them that were not the ones intended by the Ministry of Finance to be used in the foreign tax office.
The officials have been identified as Abukar Mohamed Ali, the manager of the Ministry of Finance’s land tax office at Mogadishu airport; Mohamed Adan Abdullahi, the manager of the Central Bank of Mogadishu airport branch; and Abduqadir Abdi Sodal, the Central Bank cashier in the revenue department.
The court also heard that the accused officials were involved in money laundering when it was discovered that substantial sums of money were transferred between their personal bank accounts.
The prosecution provided invoices for foreigners’ visa extensions, in which an extended visa was given on April 8 and payment was made on April 15 of this year. He said that the bureaucrats deprived the government revenue by granting visas and then collecting it via own methods.
The accused officials have yet to enter a plea, and their attorneys have refused to comment on the matter. If they are found guilty, they might face harsh punishments such as jail and large fines.
The case has sparked public concern about corruption in government organisations and the need for more strict measures to avoid such instances. So yet, neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Central Bank have commented on the matter.
The court hearing has been postponed until next week, and the accused officials are still detained. To buttress their case, the prosecution is anticipated to offer further evidence to the court.