Mauritania arrests Interior Ministry official for corruption

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An official in Mauritania says the secretary-general of the Interior Ministry has been arrested on suspicion of corruption connected to a British company.

The official said Mauritanian police arrested Mohamed El Hadi Macina on Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

He said Macina is suspected of corruption from 2006 to 2014 when he was responsible for working on election ballots provided by Smith and Ouzman, a British company convicted in a bribery scandal.

The UK Serious Fraud Office said in December 2014 that the company and two employees were convicted of making corrupt payments totaling 395,000 pounds ($543,000) to public officials for business contracts in Kenya and Mauritania. The company specializes in security documents such as ballot papers.