©AfreePress-(Lomé, 6th August 2019)- Some investigations have been carried out for years amongst agents at the Togolese Revenue Agency. Those investigations are a follow-up after discontinuation of customs operations in the database Sydonia. According to experts, the investigation was conducted in order to find out incriminating evidence of funds embezzlement.
Notwithstanding this act of this act of "sabotage", the investigators and publishers were able to find out the agents responsible of the embezzlement and the findings of the investigations revealed that more than seven billions of Francs CFA were taken out of the Agency’s accounts.
On the 2nd August 2019, names like Séwanou Mensah (the cashier), Lémou Tcha (the computer technician), Amazounou David (forwarding agent), Garba Awali (customs agent) and Edah Kékéli (customs broker) who have been placed under arrest since 2015 appeared in the Court of Assize of Lomé.
In court, the defendants have all confessed of having embezzled each, 8 million Francs CFA. But according to the Agency, the defendants have embezzled an estimated of 17 billion Francs.
The State prosecutor requested six years’ of imprisonment and a fine of up to 17 billion against the defendants.
The defense attorneys, for their part also condemned this act of corruption of their clients but have questioned the audit report submitted by the Department of the Togo Revenue Agency.
« The audit report submitted by the Agency, was a report made from 2008 to 2012 while the defendants were recruited in 2011. Which could mean that other agents were also responsible of this act of corruption within the Institution. In conclusion, the five men are not the only ones responsible of the amount of money embezzled», said Mrs. KELOUWANI Malia, member of the defense attorneys.
However the jury did not take into account that plea, condemning the five men to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of 17 billion Francs CFA to pay as compensation to the Togo Revenue Agency.