"(Business in Cameroon) - Pursuant to the current tax legislation, fiscal stamps are exclusively sold in tax revenue offices, tax agencies, stamp agencies, general treasuries, finance revenue offices and collection offices". Such is, in part, the content of a communiqué just published by the Cameroonian Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, who highlights at the same time that the Tax Directorate is always available for any request aiming to authenticate doubtful fiscal stamps.
This release by the boss of public finances comes within the context of an upsurge in complaints from candidates to various civil service examinations, who see their applications rejected at the time of submission, due to false fiscal stamps appearing on the different documents of the recruitment dossier. Indeed, taking advantage of a lack of attention on the part of the candidates', certain vendors of improvised stamps and other direct sellers stationed around public services that the candidates visit, affix on the applications false stamps showing on their upper sides the amount of "0000 FCfa", instead of "1000 FCfa".
This scheme consists in making a less watchful candidate believe that his application has been stamped at the official price, and finally divert the money paid from the State's coffers. Also, in his communiqué, the Minister of Finance invites users to strictly procure stamps at official sales points, in order to avoid any disappointment.
This practice seems to have replaced that which consisted, for certain tax officials and their accomplices within the companies in charge of the stamping machines, in falsely declaring a given stamping machine out of order. Once taken out of the official circuit, this machine was then fraudulently reintroduced in a parallel circuit to allow members of the network to enrich themselves at the expense of the State.
As a reminder, the stamping machines were introduced in Cameroon some years ago, in order to avoid forgery of physical stamps which was then raging in the country. But, one notes, these stamping machines seem not to have disarmed the fraudsters at all, who continue to cause the public Treasury to lose significant financial resources every year.
Brice R. Mbodiam