News: Police release corruption list allegedly linked to disaster risk management chief

Picture Credit: Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Addis Abeba – The federal police have released a list of suspected corruption practices allegedly committed by The Federal police has detained Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of the Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), who has been detained on 13 June.

Upon his detention, Tadesse Ayalew, deputy commissioner of the Federal Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, told state media that the commissioner was detained on suspicion of colluding with the owner of Elshadai Relief and Development Association (ERDA), “a community-based non-governmental and non-profit making humanitarian organization”. The police did not name the owner of the charity.

In the same day, the police released the alleged corruption list the Commissioner was suspected of committing, including alleged use aid equipment for personal gain and using of illegal money, which the police say was obtained as evidence from the Commissioner’s residence.

Accordingly, the police has confiscated more than 605,000 in various foreign currency from the residence of the Commissioner after he was detained. The police say Commissioner Mitaku has been barred from leaving the country by “an authorized institution” for the past two years.”

The accusation also include millions of birr worth Commissioner Mitiku allegedly took by selling food aid and equipment from the Commission’s warehouse by using the names of thousands of non existing beneficiaries and increasing the number of people in need.

Alleged link with ERDA

The police also described the scoop of the alleged link between ERDA and the Commissioner. Aid grain that was supposed to be for the needy was also sold to flour mills and other individuals instead of reaching the needy, according to the accusation by the police, and that involved ill-gotten benefits from ERDA on behalf of the Commissioner’s family.

Furthermore, the police said 472 million birr; 512,000 quintals of wheat worth half a billion birr, 34,000 quintals of maize, 77,000 liters of oil and 4,000 quintals of rice was withdrawn from the NDRMC and donated to ERDA and for personal uses.

ERDA is also accused of selling 66,483 quintals of wheat secured in the name of aid recipients for 66,483,880 birr to Kia Flour Factory located in Adama.

Police also said four double cabin and pickup trucks imported by Elshadai Sororo Trading were reportedly exchanged for 6,450 quintals of aid wheat worth 6,450,000 birr. ERDA is also accused of 15,000 quintals of wheat for 15 million birr to Hira Food Processing Factory.

Alleged corruption for personal/family gain

The police also released list of accusation the Commissioner allegedly committed for personal and/or family gains. It included accusation procurement of a Toyota Corolla vehicle for his son, paid by ERDA, as well as a house rent for 15,000 birr a month since 2016.

The Commissioner’s daughter is also accused of being on ERDA payroll receiving 5,000 birr monthly fee although she is not employed by the charity. Police also said that 893,25 birr was deposited from the charity.

An apartment on a plot of 388 square meters was allegedly purchased in Bole sub-city of Addis Abeba at a cost of 8,306,000 birr at the expense the charity in the name of the wife of the Commissioner, the police report said. The list of property included a another house from a real estate in Addis Abeba, and a three-storey building on the Commissioner’s wife name, which was worth 9.8 million birr and was allegedly purchased in Hawassa city, in SNNP, and rented out to ERDA.

The accusation also include five million birr allegedly received from the charity by the Commissioner’s mother, and seven houses allegedly purchased, as well as 19.5 million birr deposited in two bank accounts.

The statement released through state media on 13 June evening said the investigation was conducted jointly by Ministry of Justice’s Corruption Prosecution Directorate General and the Federal Police Commission’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and more investigation was ongoing.

Furthermore, additional investigation was done the Federal Auditor General bureau into the National Disaster Risk Management Commission and the ERDA branches in Amhara, Afar, Oromia and SNNPR regional states were completed and added to the investigations, the police said. AS

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