Red Cross Employees Stole $6 Million From 2014 Fight Against Ebola
On Saturday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) confirmed that fraud by its employees during the deadly 2014-2016 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa led to the loss of an estimated $6 million that could have been put toward saving lives.
The Ebola virus, which struck mainly Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, killed more than 11,300 people and infected around 29,000 between 2014 and 2016.
In Sierra Leone, the IFRC uncovered evidence of a "likely collusion" between former IFRC employees and Sierra Leone bank staff members to misappropriating $2.1 million. In addition, overbilling and fake invoices by a customs clearance service provider in Guinea led to the estimated loss of $1.2 million. Two other investigations in Guinea are currently taking place.
Previous investigations in Liberia revealed that inflated prices for relief items and payroll costs led to an estimated $2.7 million loss.
The IFRC is currently working with anti-corruption commissions in these countries to legally pursue any individuals involved.
The IFRC statement also says the organization "has introduced a raft of reforms to root out and end any instances of fraud and corruption" and has "put in place a triple defence prevention framework to protect against fraud and corruption in high-risk operations."