(The news article is updated on October 19,2023 at 12:54 P.M. Toronto time. It was needed to correct the number of immigration officials arrested)
The Ethiopian government on Wednesday arrested Tamiru Gembeta, Deputy Director of Immigration, Nationality and Vital Events Agency. A report by Ethiopian Media Services (EMS), transmitted on Thursday October 19,2023, indicated that a total of 41 officials are arrested.
They are arrested over alleged corruption. And they have reportedly appeared in court.
Addis Maleda reported that security forces have searched the residence of the deputy director with a court warrant. The source did not specify if security forces have seized anything from the search.
Immigration, Nationality, and Vital Events Agency have been in the limelight in connection with alleged corruption.
There had been reports that passport issuance had become among the highly corrupted service delivery even after Abiy Ahmed’s reform measures that were intended to make the agency efficient and corruption-free.
The Addis Maleda report, published on October 18, indicated that some employees in the agency partnered with entities engaged in brokerage and were involved in corruption.
It also highlighted that the Ethiopian PM removed the director and deputy director about three months ago and that sixteen employees of the agency and five other individuals who were operating employment agencies were allegedly involved in fraudulent facilitation of overseas travel were arrested.
Despite much talk about reform measures, Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been struggling with unprecedented levels of corruption in the history of Ethiopia.
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