Government Forms Committee To Probe 3.6 Billion Dura Fraud

This article was last updated on May 25, 2022

Following an audit report by the World Bank’s Stolen Assets Recovering (STAR) team, the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday announced a seven member committee to investigate into the report of the team in which it alleged that 3.6 billion South Sudanese Pounds had gone missing.

The Minister of Justice, Hon. John Luk Jok said that a decision was taken by the Council of Ministers after auditing by the World Bank team.

He added that they were compelled to seek external auditors after the parliament showed a lot of interest and questioning how the Ministry of Finance had handled the issue of the contracts that were meant for food to be supplied to the country in 2009.

Hon. John Luke said that it was a government policy for grains to be supplied to the states but something went wrong and that some people used the opportunity to make what has been alleged to be false claims which involved a huge sum of money.

“So today, we in the ministry are launching full investigation into the dura and the maize contracts,” he said.

The minister said the committee will continue with necessary investigations and prosecution in cases where there is proven evidence as from Tuesday adding that they are constitutionally mandated to investigate into the matter which is of fraud and that the basis of the investigation will be the STAR report.

In the report, the 873 companies are grouped into black and white. The white is divided into two phases with the first consisting of 21 companies which are said to be clean with adequate documentation to support payment and are said to claim 59,916,34 SSP.

The second category of the white group consists of 39 companies with legal issues such as sub contracting which are to be considered before claims or payment. They however claim an amount of 94,310,893 SSP.

The second group which is considered to be serious is the black. It is further divided into three categories with the first having 266 suppliers with missing documentations such as way bills with claims of 657, 884, 587 SSP which needs further investigation to verify the claims.

Black list two consists of 497 suppliers with severe issues divided further three categories. The first has 290 companies who have been paid without contracts and have a claim of 345, 683,786 SSP.

The sub category consists of 67 companies without contracts but with large payments ranging from one million and beyond and claims an amount of 257,440,306 SSP.

The third category of the black list has 151 companies with proper contracts but they were over paid and claims 166,022, 978 SSP.

So far the government has paid 706,142,603 SSP.

The minister says the committee has all authority under criminal procedure to arrest anybody whatever his status and warned that if constitutional post holders happened to be involved, their immunity will be lifted.

He promised that those who use the opportunity to defraud the country, cause great loss to the national government in an effort to enrich themselves and will be brought to book.

The probe committee members are drawn from the Ministry of Justice, a member from Interior ministry and another from the Audit chamber.

A time frame has not been set for the group. 

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