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South Sudan presidential spokesman denies losing money

October 22, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny has denied reports that he lost undisclosed money sum as well as smart phones that he owned.

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South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

The incident allegedly occurred in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, where Ateny and the president of South Sudan Youth Union are on a visit to meet the Aweil community living there.

Ateny, pressured by the growing public and media attention drawn by the allegation, released a statement to the public denying reports that he lost some belongings and the money purported to have been stolen.

He described the circulating news as “fake”.

“The news that are circulating in the social media that my phones and money were stolen while on official visit to Cairo are just as fake. It is wishful thinking by those who abhor progress of others. While in Cairo we were accommodated in the apartment and one official was assigned to us from the Embassy of South Sudan in Egypt and therefore, had comfortable stay in Cairo,” said Ateny.

He added, “We experienced no theft of anything. The fake news is made just to put anti-progress of others in comfortable mood”.

In June, Riek Puok, a South Sudanese diplomat, was stopped at Cairo airport after trying to board a plane with $40,000 in cash.

Egyptian laws, however, dictate that travellers may only carry up to around 10,000 USD in cash while traveling out of the country.

Also in 2008, Stephen Madut Baak, another South Sudanese official was allegedly in possession of $3 million at Heathrow airport. The money, South Sudanese officials said, was only $137,000 and intended for opening a liaison office in London. Due to restrictions from the British government, the money was seized, investigations carried out, but later handed over to Baak who possessed it.

(ST)