Latin America & Caribbean

Cuban officials accused of stealing eight million eggs

Cuban farmers, 8 March 15 Image copyright AP
Image caption Cuba's farming sector is expected to be transformed once relations with the US are fully restored

Cuban prosecutors are seeking prison sentences of up to 20 years for officials accused of stealing eight million eggs from state companies.

State newspaper Granma reported that the scam had cost Cuba more than $350,000 (£230,000) in lost revenue.

Prosecutors accuse 19 officials of using false accounting, fake receipts and unauthorised delivery routes to run a black market in eggs.

President Raul Castro launched an anti-corruption campaign in 2009.

He declared at the time that corruption was a cancer in the communist-run country.

The "criminal network" succeeded "thanks to unobservant and/or corrupt supervisors, deficient or absent monitoring mechanisms and complicit or tolerant attitudes", said Granma.

The Cuban authorities said the scheme operated between January and October 2012.

They have not said when the trial for the 19 officials will he held.

Last month Cuba freed the president of a Canadian transport company after more than three years in jail.

Cy Tokmakjian was arrested in 2011 as part of an anti-corruption operation and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on bribery charges.

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