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

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.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2009 22:15 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.

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

Local media has dubbed the affair "Seguragate" in a nod to the US 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.