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Tuesday, 29 February, 2000, 17:55 GMT
High-level arrests in Guinea Bissau


The new government in Guinea Bissau has arrested two former prime ministers and four former ministers on suspicion of embezzlement.

The move follows an investigation into the issuing three years ago of two government bonds worth one-hundred-and-ten million dollars without authorisation from parliament. The scandal came to light last year when the Italian company handling the bond issue sought confirmation from the interim government. It is not clear where the money has gone, but the two former prime ministers Carlos Correia and Manuel Saturnino da Costa, said it was intended for national development; they have now been released on bail.

At his inauguration two weeks ago, President Kumba Yala, who won democratic elections held after an eleven-month civil war, promised to stamp out corruption.

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