Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, a former minister of health in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been arrested by the police for alleged mismanagement of $150 million funds, earmarked for Ebola epidemic.
Ilunga was grilled earlier this month and he denied any wrongdoing. The police however arrested and detained Ilunga following a tip-off that he was going to flee the country and evade prosecution.
“Unfortunately, police received information about his disappearance with a view to reaching Congo-Brazzaville,” Reuters quoted the police’s press service to have said.
It said Ilunga was in police custody and would come before a prosecutor on Monday (16 September).
Ilunga’s lawyers denied he had plans to flee the country.
“He strongly reaffirms his innocence in this case and vows to defend himself,” the lawyer was quoted to have said.
Foreign donors have provided more than $150 million in funding to the Ebola response over the past year, but the United Nations has said hundreds of millions of dollars more are needed.
The outbreak has so far killed over 2,000 people and infected 1,000 more. Only the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa, which killed more than 11,300, was deadlier.