A group – claiming to be the criminals behind a few recent burglaries targeting government institutions and coffers is reportedly disputing the official publicized amount that officials say was stolen, and are calling for an independent body to investigate the whereabouts of the rest the money and property that they say they did not steal but are still listed as stolen.
According to the group that is still are large, they only stole and got away with less than one-third (1/3) of what they call ‘public money that could have been eaten by corrupt officials’. The rest – more than two-thirds (2/3) – was made up by the same corrupt officials inside the Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigrations (DNPI) in an attempt to keep that for themselves.
“While we take full responsibility and admit to have taken some money from the Directorate of Immigrations on the said date, we want to assure the general public that what we took does not amount to ‘millions’ as officials want you to believe. In fact, we would need a shipping container to load millions South Sudanese pounds – mostly in small notes – collected as fees for documents and visas issued by the directorate,” said the statement in part.
“We also want to expose another lie that three (3) family sized refrigerators, two flat-screen HD television sets, spare tyres and so on were stolen that day. We are god-fearing citizens (thieves as we are) and true-by-God, all these other items listed as stolen have been commandeered by some officers in the directorate that we know, and we are ready to cooperate with an independent investigative body to expose the real culprits of this and other similar cover-ups.”
Even in South Sudan where a lot of strange things happen for the first time, this alleged whistle-blowing by criminals has shocked and taken everyone by surprise. Their approach to reach out to the public in an attempt to validate their means of stealing from an already corrupt system is being received with mixed reactions.
The group also admits to be behind the theft at Bulluk Police headquarters in Juba a few weeks earlier. The amount given by the officials that time, they say, was ‘roughly’ correct.
The self-proclaimed god-fearing vigilantes claim that the much talked-about ‘fight against corruption’ has done nothing as public funds continue to find their way into the pockets, mouths and bellies of ‘fat corrupt officials’. According to their disclaimer, they intend to fight corruption by depriving the ‘real thieves’ from getting their hands on the money – as such their approach to snatch the loot faster than corrupt officials can say ‘Robin Hood’.
However, these burglars seem to have been angered (or felt cheated or even out-smarted) by their adversaries this time around who (if true) have pocketed more than the criminals who undertook the risky endeavour.
“These corrupt officials will use and turn any opportunity to continue stealing what belongs to South Sudan…”
The Ministry of Interior has not reacted to the news when we went to press. We promise to keep you informed.
1 US dollar is equivalent to 6SSP (official rate) in Juba, the capital.