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Anti-Corruption Bureau confiscates K166 million from George Chaponda

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officers yesterday raided the house of Agriculture Minister, George Chaponda, in Lilongwe’s Area 43 suburb and confiscated K166 million in different currencies.

The money has since been deposited at the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

The raid follows recommendations by a presidential commission of inquiry and a joint parliamentary committee inquiry that the ACB and the Malawi Police Service must probe Chaponda further for his involvement in suspicious import of maize from Zambia by the government.

RBM Spokesperson confirmed that the ACB and the police made the deposits at the central bank.

“I can confirm that today ACB and police officers came to Reserve Bank of Malawi with money which they collected from their own investigations. So far, the money that has been counted includes K124 million, $57,000 and smaller amounts in other currencies.

“But I cannot tell you where they got the money from and to whom it belongs. It is routine for such agencies to bring such amounts of money because we are a government bank,” Ngwira said

Attempts to talk to Chaponda yielded nothing as all his four lines were out of reach.

Information Minister, Nicholas Dausi, asked for time to consult on the matter.

“I am just coming out of Parliament now. Give me an opportunity to consult,” Dausi said.

In an interview, ACB Spokesperson, Egrita Ndala, confirmed that the bureau obtained a search and seizure warrant but refused to give specifics of what the officers had seized .

“The search is to do with the ongoing investigations into the maize scandal. I cannot tell you what exactly we are looking for but anything that the officers will find to be relevant to the probe, they will have to seize,” Ndala said.

The graft busting body has also confiscated computers, files and other office equipment at head offices of Transglobe Limited and Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) both situated in Limbe, Blantyre.

Four ACB officers who wore official ACB badges alighted from a white Toyota Pajero registration number MG169AA at around 2 o’clock, in the company of two armed policemen.

The group swiftly moved to the block which houses office of Transglobe Director of Export, Rashid Tayub, before coming out, a few minutes later, with a computer monitor and its accessories.

The ACB officials who recognised The Daily Times journalists refused to grant any interviews saying their operation demanded no interaction with the media.

Tayub who also came out from the offices, looking dejected, drove off without talking to anyone.

The investigators swiftly drove straight to Admarc Headquarters where they descended on the Operations Department block which also houses offices of Director of Operations, Feckson Kantonga, and the officers also confiscated a computer monitor and its accessories and some files before speeding away to Kantonga’s house where they searched it for 30 minutes.

But some staff at the Admarc offices were overheard grumbling that the action by the ACB might was a bit too late.

“Why coming today, where were there all this time. What do they expect to find now? Those computers might have been tampered with?” One woman said.

Another man chipped in: “Let them do their job, whether they have delayed or not at least they are doing something.”

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