Home | News    Friday 23 June 2017

S. Sudan’s envoy to Nigeria denies Cairo airport fiasco

June 22, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s ambassador to Nigeria, Riek Puok has dismissed as “fake” reports that he was arrested at Cairo airport after he was allegedly found in possession of huge money.

JPEG - 14.7 kb
South Sudan’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Mawien Makol (Photo: Citizen News)

Puok, in a statement, said information circulating that he carried $40,000 while enroute to Juba from Nigeria has completely surprised him.

“I wish I could have the amount ($40,000). It would make my leave even more enjoyable. The news is wrong. The figure reported is not right. The main point is that I am fine and traveled safely to my final destination with all my belongings and luggage,” he said Thursday.

The ambassador said the report was “inconsistent” to actual facts.

“I was not caught but was almost robbed and the robbery went wrong. I am on a personal leave. The money I have is total mine and not looted ($17,000)”, he further explained on his Facebook page.

However, despite the ambassador’s denial, a security source was quoted saying the South Sudanese diplomat caused a commotion at Cairo International Airport after being stopped from carrying $ 40,000, prompting security officials at Cairo airport to contact Egypt’s deputy assistant foreign affairs minister for diplomatic passports, Ashraf Munir, who advised Puok to abide by the Egyptian laws.

South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry also confirmed that its ambassador to Nigeria was stopped by Egyptian officials on Sunday.

The ministry’s spokesman Mawien Makol told Radio Tamazuj that they asked their ambassador in Cairo to look into the issue.

“The ambassador’s [Puok] flight was cancelled because he was carrying a lot of money. You know the ambassador did not inform the South Sudanese embassy in Cairo when he was returning back to Juba,” he said.

Makol, however, said the ministry was not aware of the money in possession of its ambassador to Nigeria, stressing that the South Sudanese envoy to Nigeria was in Cairo on a private mission.

(ST)