News24

Burkina customs chief fired

2012-01-03 10:08

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's president fired the country's customs chief on Monday after his detention over the seizure of nearly $3.8m in trunks carried by a relative, sources close to the enquiry said on Monday.

President Blaise Compaore issued a decree on Monday "ending" the services of Ousmane Guiro. No successor has been appointed.

"We nabbed people carrying suitcases packed with cash," an official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"There were close to two billion CFA francs in there.

"The gendarmerie investigated to find out who the owner was and it turned out it's the general director of the customs services, Ousmane Guiro," the official said.

The official did not say where the money was seized but said Guiro was brought in for questioning on Saturday.

Another official said one of Guiro's nephews was carrying the cash.

Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao "is uncompromising when it comes to tackling corruption and misuse of public funds: whoever the suspect is, the law should apply", a government official said.

Guiro, whose department was ranked the west African country's most corrupt in the local anti-graft watchdog's 2010 report, is reported to have narrowly evaded prosecution in 2008 over tax evasion.