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Mozambique officials given 12 years in prison

A Mozambican judge has sentenced two former government officials to 12 years' imprisonment for stealing 3.6 million meticais ($103,000) from the government.

The judge said Wednesday one of the officials used government money for trips to South Africa and Swaziland, dinners, school fees and in the casino of a luxury hotel in Mozambique. The judge said the officials "deliberately disorganized" the government data center's accounting system at the expense of workers, who were often paid late.

The court ordered the center's former director Orlando Come and former head of administration and finance Manuel Vilanculos to repay the stolen money. Come denied that he misused funds.

The watchdog Transparency International ranks Mozambique among the 50 most corrupt countries in the world.