The military ruler of Sudan, Abdulfatah al-Burhan Abdul Rahman, has Wednesday issued a presidential decree ordering all government officials to declare all their wealth stashed in foreign financial institutions, Chimp Corps report.
The Constitutional Decree Number directs public officials on the “immediate disclosure of foreign currency and bank accounts within and outside the Sudan” within 72 hours.
All ministries, public institutions and companies are required to comply with decree broadcast on state television.
“In the event of a violation of this decree, the perpetrators will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or a fine or both,” the decree reads in part.
The order comes against the backdrop of severe shortage of foreign currency in the country.
Many cash machines in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum have since run out of banknotes as the shaky military junta struggles to prevent economic collapse.
The country is already struggling with a sharp devaluation of its domestic currency as protests sparked by emergency austerity measures.
The development also comes high on the heels of deposed president Omar Al-Bashir’s alleged detention at a prison in Khartoum.
The military ruler’s decree could as well be targeting Bashir who is said to have siphoned as much as $9bn out of Sudan.
Secret US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks revealed that the large sums of money were held in London banks.
The military is possibly embarking on a worldwide hunt to seize the properties of Bashir and his right-hand men who are reportedly detained in Khartoum.
The military directed all public institutions to “submit the necessary data on bank accounts, deposits, securities, cash or any precious metals or jewelery inside and outside Sudan to the Central bank of Sudan.”
General Rahman also directed the General Commercial Registrar to suspend the transfer of any shares until further notice and to report any significant or suspicious transfer of shares or companies as of April 1, 2019.
The central Bank of Sudan was also instructed to freeze accounts of suspicious transactions.
Sudan’s public sector is perceived as one of the most corrupt in the world, ranking 173 out of 175 nations in the 2014 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index.
According to TI, Sudan is ahead of only North Korea and Somalia in terms of government transparency.
However, over the past few years, the government has taken limited steps to combat official corruption.