Fraud team recovered over a billion CFA

An anti-fraud squad in Niger has recovered 1.13 billion CFA francs (US $1.8million) owed to the government its spokesman said on Thursday on national radio, a source in Niamey told IRIN on Friday.

The National Commission Against Economic, Financial and Fiscal Delinquency created in May by the Conseil de Reconciliation Nationale (CRN) headed by Major Dauda Wanke, is investigating some 600 cases of fraud in government, the spokesman said. The investigations are an effort by the military government to clean up the management of state assets, primarily by recovering debts to the treasury.

The commission has taken over the role of a committee dissolved by the CRN after it took power in April, Reuters said. According to Retuers, the transitional government, which has promised to hold democratic elections in November, drew up an emergency budget for the May-July period but said that government revenue would only be about half the amount, Reuters reported.

In another development, the Ministry of Communication announced on Thursday a change in the law governing the the press and information, making it far less rigid, a news source told IRIN.