Seventeen accountants that Fiscal Police arrested on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding the Malawi Police Service have been charged with three counts of public officer receiving property to show favour, corruption and money laundering.
According to information that was tendered in court, the accountants defrauded the police vote between September 2021 and June 2022.
This was revealed in court, where the 17 appeared before the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court to be officially charged Wednesday.
They face allegations that, between September 2021 and June 2022, they corruptly received money amounting to K276 million.
However, State prosecutor Cecelia Zangazanga pleaded with the court to give the State 14 days to complete its investigations before commencement of the trial.
“The State brought the accused persons to court so that they should be told why they are being kept on remand. We are pleading with the court to give us time to further investigate the matter,” Zangazanga said.
She said the State wanted the suspects to be given 14-day bail for it to complete its investigations.
But Lusekelo Zelos Matumba and Innocent Kubwalo, who are lawyers representing the accused, asked the court to release the suspects on bail, saying, as bonafide citizens, they are not a flight risk.
“We ask the court to consider releasing them on bail as they will not interfere with witnesses and have strong family ties. They are residents of Lilongwe who cannot jump bail,” Kubwalo said.
Meanwhile, Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Chimwaza has reserved her ruling on bail application to today.
Fiscal Police have arrested about 40 civil servants linked to fraud allegations at the Department of the Accountant General.