Since President Mustafa Omar came to power, the PCDP office has done a remarkable job in starting to implement some of the planed developmental projects.
According to activist Abdirashid Ali Shuaa, a forged letter purporting to be signed by the PCDP office requested Somali region Finance Bureau to immediately transfer a whopping 15,200,000 million birr into account with the name Faafan Zone MST – PCDP 3.
No proper checks was made by the Finance Bureau to verify the authenticity of the signatures. This may sounds like Hollywood or famous Nigeria bank scam.
Once the money landed into the fake account, the criminal gang behind this grand scale theft managed to quickly siphon-off the money from the account.
The bank too never raised the alarm and notified the PCDP office for further verification. One would expect the bank to carry out the background check, given the huge amount of money involved but it generally gives clue on how bank managers are always part of the government scandals by swiftly facilitating huge money without proper verifications.
When the PCDP office realized what happened, the head of the office alerted the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter with urgency. Nevertheless, the security personnel has failed to arrest them, perhaps, another sign of revealing possible collusion with these thieves and the extent of intensive systemic infection in the region.
A number of innocent people from the PCDP office whose signatures were forged were wrongly arrested instead. Reportedly, so far, the mastermind behind this crime Zubeer is on the run.
It’s clear the commecial bank and the Finance Bureau were equally blameworthy and facilitated this unprecedented financial theft. Both these institutions are crime accomplices and must be held accountable.
The PCDP is a sensitive office and funded by important donors aiming to alleviate poverty and suffering among millions of vulnerable households in Somali region due to drought and hunger.
All those who have supported directly and indirectly the stealing of millions of birr from public funds are ruthless killers. They deserve to be punished for their disgraceful act of theft.
SR News suggests in order to enhance transparency and accountability in the government institutions, the head of PCDP, head of Finance office and the security apparatus contacted but failed to arrest the suspects have to be suspended and a prompt investigation should be conducted immediately.
SR News investigative journalist, Jigjiga