Benin minister resigns in scandal over missing aid millions

Reuters News
Posted: May 14, 2015 11:39 AM

COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin's minister for energy and water has resigned over a corruption scandal that resulted in the Netherlands suspending aid after millions of dollars of Dutch financial support went missing.

President Thomas Boni Yayi accepted Bethelemy Kassa's resignation and has pledged severe sanctions against anyone implicated, state television said on Wednesday.

The Dutch government froze its aid to Benin last week after an audit found that around $4 million had gone missing from a project in 2014 to help improve water supplies in Benin.

Dutch Ambassador Jos Van Aggelen called on authorities in Benin to carry out an investigation into the missing cash and take the appropriate action.

"The Dutch government is aware of the consequences that this decision will have on the population in Benin given the progress made in recent years...but we cannot tolerate resources being made available to Benin being managed in this way," the ambassador said in a May 8 statement.

(Reporting by Allegresse Sasse; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Emma Farge)