The Canadian government has fired 17 local recruits from its embassy in Haiti after uncovering a system of fraud that cost the diplomatic mission $1.7 million over 12 years, Global Affairs Canada says.
The majority of that staff, 12 people, worked for Global Affairs Canada. The other five worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Global Affairs told Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, the investigation began in spring 2015 and uncovered “inadequate practices” at the embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Investigators found the staffers inflated bills, diverted and stole materials and colluded with local suppliers between 2004 and 2016.
Global Affairs said the embassy has stopped dealing with all suppliers implicated in the fraud and an investigation is underway to see if Canadian staff were involved in any way.
No criminal charges have been laid so far.
Global Affairs said the relief efforts related to Hurricane Matthew were not affected.
The department is also reviewing practices at embassies in Algeria, Nigeria, Kenya, India and Russia to determine whether similar activity has taken place.