Danny McCance 31 Jul 2018 11:29am

Amnesty International accountant jailed for fraud

Sebastian Sarmiento Orozco spent £43,000 of his employer Amnesty International’s money on pursuing a luxury lifestyle

Orozco was sentenced to 21 months in jail at Southwark Crown Court on Friday after admitting to fraud, the Times reported.

The 27-year-old, originally from Colombia, worked as a member of the finance team in Amnesty's London office between June 2015 and December 2016.

During his time at Amnesty he used a credit card belonging to the charity to purchase flights, hotels rooms and other luxury items.

According to Amnesty international, the fraud was disocvered when a team member carried out routine reconciliations. 

Amnesty then brought in external fraud and forensic experts to investigate, while notifying the police and Charity Commission.

Orozco was arrested in December 2017 following the collaboration between Amnesty International and the UK authorities.

According to Amnesty International, the organisation takes cases of fraud extremely seriously.

"We operate strong internal controls and have a robust anti-fraud, bribery and corruption strategy in place," a spokesperson for Amnesty International said.

"We implemented all recommendations made by the external investigators in response to the incident and we are continuing to strengthen our fraud awareness culture throughout the organisation to help ensure future prevention," they added.

After his sentence, Orozco is likely to be deported back to Colombia, according to the Times.

Last year UK charity regulators called on auditors to be more proactive in raising concerns following the collapse of Kids Company in August 2015.