Humanitarian organization, the Red Cross has issued a statement relaying that $6 million dollars worth of donations had been stolen by staff members. The money was supposed to be used in the Ebola Outbreak, and the theft in question reportedly occurred in the 2014-2016 interval.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies expressed their outrage after discovering the fraud and apologized for the situation telling BBC they are „deeply sorry for the losses.” These findings were relayed in October, but the subject is already picking steam as more and more money leaks are discovered.
„IFRC is committed to holding all those involved in any form of fraud to account, and to reclaiming all misappropriated, diverted, or otherwise illegally taken funds.”
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa had a starting point in Guinea and spread throughout Sierra Leone and Liberia. While international aid started slow, the money was spent as quickly as possible as to put more aid workers on the ground. Red Cross conducted an internal investigation where they discovered that at least $2.13 million was lost in Sierra Leone due to former IRFC staff colluding with banks in the region. This fraud is predicted to have occurred because the exchange rate was modified. Money was lost in Guinea as well although the reason for the loss was due to forged customs bills reaching $1.17 million. Guinea is joined by Liberia, with an estimated 2.7 million Swiss francs loss attributable to inflated prices and volunteer payment.
The Red Cross is working with authorities in all three areas to find and legally pursue the people responsible for the fraud. Red Cross officials have been rooting out fraud and corruption since 2014 as to increase transparency and risk management in all IFRC projects. The organization is tightening their internal structure by planning two more investigations in the future.
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