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Cuban egg empire cracked, officials jailed

A group of 18 Cuban officials have been sentenced to between five and 15 years imprisonment. They were found guilty of stealing millions of eggs and selling them on the black market.

The employees, according to a Friday report by local Granma newspaper, worked for a state distribution agency. They had been accused of embezzlement, misappropriation and forgery of official documents.

The officials stole eight million eggs over a period of several months in 2012, the Cuban Communist Party daily Granma reported. The theft cost the state around 340,000 dollars.

Prosecutors said those sentenced had fudged accounts, created fake receipts and used unauthorized delivery routes to set up an egg empire on the black market.

They had succeeded in running their egg empire for months in 2012 "thanks to unobservant and/or corrupt supervisors, deficient or absent monitoring mechanisms and complicit or tolerant attitudes," Granma wrote.

Corruption in the communist country is common due to low wages in the state sector. Employees are known to steal products and sell them elsewhere for a higher price.

mg/sb (dpa, AFP)

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