Govt officials accused of funnelling millions with fake stamps and falsified documents

A court in Mogadishu heard  on Tuesday that officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank based at Aden Adde Airport used fake stamps and falsified documents to funnel out millions of dollars.

According to the prosecution, the accused officials circumvented legal procedures in the revenue sections of the airport using these fake documents and stamps.

Deputy Prosecutor Farah Abdirahman Jama told the court that his office has submitted copies of the documents found during their investigation, some of which were fake, while some of them had fake stamps on them which were not the ones intended by the Ministry of Finance to be used in the foreign tax office.

The officials identified as Abukar Mohamed Ali, who is the manager of the land tax office of the Ministry of Finance at Mogadishu airport; Mohamed Adan Abdullahi, who was the manager of the Central Bank of Mogadishu airport branch; and Abduqadir Abdi Sodal, the Central Bank cashier in the revenue department, have been accused of committing the said offenses.

The court also heard that the accused officials were involved in money laundering after it was established that they moved large amounts of money between their personal bank accounts.

The prosecutor presented receipts of visa extensions for foreigners in which an extended visa was issued on April 8 and payment made on April 15 this year. He said the officials denied the government revenue by issuing out visas and later collected the money through their channels.

The accused officials have not yet entered a plea, and their lawyers declined to comment on the case. However, if found guilty, they could face severe penalties, including imprisonment and heavy fines.

The case has raised concerns among the public regarding corruption in government institutions and the need for more stringent measures to prevent such incidents. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have not commented on the case so far.

The court hearing has been adjourned until next week, and the accused officials remain in custody. The prosecution is expected to present further evidence to the court to support their case.

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