Arrests now at 42 in Ethiopia corruption crackdown
Eight more people have been arrested on corruption charges in Ethiopia, the nation’s attorney general said Saturday, bringing to 42 the number of government officials and business professionals caught up in the crackdown.
The 42 suspects were arrested for alleged embezzlement of more than USD$58 million from the Federal Roads Authority, more than $51 million from Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, $47 million from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation and more than $1.7 million from the Addis Ababa housing development project office. At least three of the new cases are connected with the latter, APA News reported.
A partial list of those implicated in corruption cases was published by Ethiopia’s Fana Broadcasting on Thursday when nearly three dozen people were due in court. They include the former manager of the Addis Ababa Roads Authority, the owner of Tidhar Construction Company, at least 15 employees of the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, and one manager of a Chinese firm.
Attorneys for the accused asked that they be released on bail, but that request was denied for at least 14 days while police gather more evidence. The next court date is set for August 9.
Negeri Lencho, Ethiopia’s Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), said in a statement that the arrests came after lengthy investigations. The attorney general, Getachew Ambaye, said some of the cases are based on reports of the federal and Addis Ababa city auditors. Employee whistleblowers and tips from the public also informed the government-conducted inquiry.