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4 ex-AHL managers arrested over K46 billion

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Former Action Holdings Limited (AHL) chief executive officer (CEO) Evans Matabwa and three others have been arrested after being implicated in the loss of K46 billion at the company.

Malawi Police Service spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the development Tuesday but said he would furnish us with details later.

The arrests follow a story which our sister paper, Malawi News, carried in May this year, when it reported that a forensic audit at AHL had exposed a deliberate loss of K46 billion by the Malawi Leaf Company as managers conspired to siphon the funds.

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According to the audit report, the unprecedented loss was due to conspiracy by management and private companies to siphon money out of the company using hidden identities of customers buying tobacco outside Malawi.

The report says the suspects could retrieve back the money through commissions paid by the said hidden companies that were allegedly being paid to general manager Jimmy Kasamale and financial controller Francis Madona, among other people.

According to the report, Kasamale reported to the board that Malawi Leaf Company would be making a loss of $40.18 million for the year 2017.

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The board became suspicious and requested an audit, which revealed suspicious activities involving the sale of tobacco to two companies that allegedly profited from the deal from 2014 to 2017.

Malawi Leaf Company Limited was a subsidiary company wholly owned by Auction Holdings Group of companies.

In November 2020, AHL Group, appointed Alfred Nkhono to replace Matabwa as CEO. The then AHL Group board chairperson Felix Jumbe indicated that Nkhono’s appointment was effective November 1 2020.

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