Aug 3, 2016

Mozambique: BBC Fingers ADPP for Links to 'Cult-like Group' Led by People Wanted by Interpol

August 2, 2016

ADPP is a Danish-origin NGO which has become a dominant player in the second hand clothes trade in Mozambique and has been heavily involved in teacher training in Mozambique. In a report Tuesday 2 August the BBC says that ADPP is part of a group "under the control of a cult-like organisation" and that "the group's senior leaders - wanted by Interpol - are thought to be holed up in a luxury coastal compound in Mexico." Unicef on 30 June halted funding to ADPP's Malawi associate.

The group has been subject to repeated media investigations for two decades but has been able to raise substantial funds from US, UK and UN agencies. Last year the US Department of Agriculture gave $31.6 million for work in Mozambique to another member of the group, Planet Aid.

ADPP is Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo which operates as Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) in English speaking countries. Its Mozambique website  says "ADPP Mozambique is a co-founder and member of the Federation for Associations connected to the International Humana People to People Movement", which includes Planet Aid.

The investigation alleges that the network is controlled by "a cult-like organisation - the Teachers Group". The investigation was conducted by the BBC and the US-based Centre for Investigative Reporting, and three major articles have been published:

The main part of the investigation was about DAPP Malawi, which has links to ADPP Mozambique. It is alleged that:

*Malawi staff are pressured to join Teachers Group and donate 25% of their salary to it;

*projects were not carried out and money was diverted;

*significant amounts of money have been taken out of Africa, either in cash or payments to related companies, with millions of dollars going to build a luxury          headquarters in Mexico;

*and accounts were not supplied, and group-linked companies submitted duplicate and inflated invoices.

The group has been the subject of repeated investigations. Two decades ago it was investigated by the London Observer (28 Jan 1996) and Humana was subsequently deregistered by the British charity commission; it was later registered again and changed its name. In 2002 there was a report on the BBC.
The head of the Teachers Group and founder of Humana is said to be Mogens Amdi Petersen, who, with several associates, was charged with fraud and embezzlement; they fled Denmark, were convicted in absentia in 2013, and are now wanted by Interpol.

ADPP Moçambique did not respond to a request for comment. DAPP Malawi and spokespeople for DAPP denied all the allegations in statements to the BBC and the Centre for Investigative Reporting.

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