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ETHIOPIA EMBASSY FRAUD: Police on suspects trail

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The Malawi Police Service says despite receiving an audit report on the K293 million fraud at the country’s Malawi Embassy in Ethiopia, there is need to register progress in its own investigations before making a decision to arrest the implicated officers.

According to deputy national Police spokesperson, Thomeck Nyaude, police recognise the interest that the public has on the matter but there is need to understand that the issue happened outside the country and a lot of money is involved.

“Yes we have a report in our files but we need to register progress bearing in mind that there are a lot of issues involved. So, we know that the public is keen to know the truth and the police are also keen to investigate and avail the truth to the public. Right now we are investigating and when we are through we will come to you with proper information.

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“If we say, we are arresting the people mentioned on such a day, we may be wrong because there is no any point which guides on how long it takes before one is arrested. Yes, to arrest suspects is our role but people should be patient enough for the police to investigate and after finishing those investigations we see what we can do. We will not arrest and then investigate. We will investigate then after that if there will be any need for arrests, we will not hesitate to do so,” Nyaude said.

The final internal investigative audit report of the Embassy revealed that the former deputy ambassador, Doreen Chavula Kapanga, first secretary (administration and finance) Fletcher Mada Chowe and an accountant Msekerem Muleta defrauded the embassy $75,000, $288,933.15 and $41,500 respectively.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Chaponda Shumba confirmed the suspension of three more officers in connection to the fraud.

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Although Chaponda Shumba could not disclose the names of the three officers, some sources within the ministry mentioned deputy director of administration Martin Kantikana, senior accounts assistant Grant Kaipa and accounts assistant Mtendere Kajiya.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said the scam was busted when Ambassador Chimango Chirwa came across a $30,000 cheque by chance and was puzzled at how such a big cheque could be processed without his knowledge.

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