Yangoru senior public servants jailed

National, Normal


THE administrator and treasurer of the Yangoru Saussia district were jailed for three years each with hard labour by a National Court on Monday for the misappropriation of more than K70,000.
Administrator Godfried Raushem was responsible for the loss of K40,300 and Titus Wafi K36,700 from the District Support Grants through a number of fraudulent claims.
Justice Graham Ellis said evidence had shown beyond reasonable doubt that the two men signed documents dishonestly to make 15 fraudulent claims.
“These two officers were being sentenced to imprisonment yesterday afternoon not because there is evidence that they took the money themselves but because there was evidence that they let others take it when they should not,” Justice Ellis said when passing sentence on Monday.
“It was their responsibility as custodians of the funds available for District Support Grants to make sure that those funds were only applied to approve claimants for approved projects.”
He said public servants must know that it was wrong to take money from the State without proper claims for expenditure.
“Those who try to use public servants to steal from the State should realise that they will be caught, charged and likely to be convicted and sentenced to prison before they embark on their conduct.”
According to court documents, Raushem signed documents enabling the payment of eight different claims while Wafi did likewise for seven other claims.
Justice Ellis said while he noted that the two men did not obtain personal financial benefit from these payouts, the amount involved was significant.