Senegal admits "money gift" to IMF official | business | Hindustan Times
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Senegal admits "money gift" to IMF official

business Updated: Oct 27, 2009 02:04 IST

Senegal admitted on Monday it gave a "money gift" to an official from the International Monetary Fund at the close of his three-year posting earlier this month, citing African tradition to offer goodbye presents.

"We in Africa have a tradition: when someone visits you, you give him a gift at departure," Senegal's Prime Minister Souleymane Ndene Ndiaye told state media.

IMF representative Alex Segura, who had been an outspoken critic of the West African nation's budget process during his posting, returned the money, which local media said amounted to 100,000 euros, within days.

Local media has dubbed the affair "Seguragate" in a nod to the U.S. political scandal Watergate that led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.

"What happened with Segura can't be labelled corruption. Mr Segura had ended his mission," Ndiaye said. Senegal's government had initially denied giving the money.

The country's civil society has called for an independant investigation into the matter and the IMF also said it is continuing to establish all the facts.

The IMF last December approved a $75.6 million, one-year funding deal from its Exogenous Shocks Facility to mitigate the effects of last year's surge food and energy prices.