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Capital Hill fraud suspects get bail

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Four of the five government accountants that were arrested for allegedly corruptly receiving K159.5 million from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) appeared before the Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court, where they were granted bail.

The five suspects, and others that are yet to be taken to court, are being suspected of corruptly receiving a total of K159.5 million through their bank accounts from MDAs for them to perform their duties.

Five suspects, all from the Accountant General (AG)’s Department at the Ministry of Finance, were arrested but 52-year-old old Estone Sani was released on bail on Friday last week.

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According to the charge sheet which The Daily Times has seen, the suspects that were granted bail on Monday are 39-year-old Kondwani Luka, 50-year-old Phyllis Kainja, 41-year-old Micius Chikapusa and Verekeni Mpinganjira.

The money was allegedly received through their respective bank accounts between September 2021 and June 2022

They have been charged with three counts of public officer receiving property to show favour, official corruption and money laundering.

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In the first count, it is alleged that, in their capacity as accountants, they received money from MDAs through their respective bank accounts.

On the second count of official corruption, it is alleged that, as accountants at government offices at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, the five suspects and others corruptly received the said amount of money from MDAs for them to discharge their duties.

On the money laundering count, the State claims that, within the same period, the suspects allegedly “knowingly or having reasonable grounds to believe that money deposited in their accounts” amounting to K159, 568, 000 from different MDAs “directly or indirectly represented proceeds of a predicate offence, transferred the said money from the said account with the intent to conceal or disguise the illicit origin of the said money”.

Among other bail conditions, Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda ordered the four government accountants to pay a cash bond of K200,000, surrender their travelling documents and that they should be reporting to the police once a fortnight.

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