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Ex-police officer convicted in K500 million Standard Bank case

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By Mandy Pondani:

SATISFIED — Nambiri

The Principal Magistrate at the Mzuzu Registry Cuthbert Phiri on Friday convicted former police officer Ken Kamwambi for the role he played in a robbery that occurred at Standard Bank Mzuzu Branch on September 3, 2014.

The court was convinced that during the four-year trial, the state proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kamwambi was highly connected to the crime in which K534 million was stolen.

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The state, through State Advocate Jacob Nambiri paraded 17 witnesses and adduced various pieces of evidence including two vehicles which were used to commit the offense and were later impounded by the police and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers.

In his ruling which lasted over three and a half hours, Phiri acquitted the first and second accused persons, Charles Moffat and Amos Jere.

The court then observed that the crime was highly sophisticated and complex, adding that bosses from the Reserve Bank of Malawi and Standard Bank might have also been involved in the plan to rob the bank.

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“There was a high, sophisticated and long term plan for this criminal activity. I believe some bosses from both banks took part in the robbery…leakages were made from the Reserve Bank about the plan to deliver cash to the Standard Bank on the material day,” Phiri said.

He then said despite being absent from the crime scene, the circumstantial evidence presented in court by the state proved beyond reasonable doubt that officer Kwamwambi who worked for the Police Mobile Service (B Company) in Limbe was part of the scheme.

It is on court record that the vehicle which Kamwambi was apprehended in at Namitete Roadblock in Mchinji was also present on the crime scene.

It came to the courts’ attention that he used the police uniform to beat security checks on his various errands including, exportation of copper from Malawi to other countries like Zambia.

“I find the evidence given by the third accused [Kamwambi] in defense unbelievable. He is a fraudulent person and he used his job as police officer and the uniform to commit crimes and also beat the course of Justice. We need honest police officers…I therefore find him guilty in this matter,” said the magistrate.

The matter returns to court for sentencing on October 17, 2018.

In his reaction, Senior State Advocate Jacob Nambiri said he is happy that they managed to satisfy the court in Kamwambi’s case but said they will have to sit down as an office if they should appeal on the two acquittals.

Kamwambi’s lawyer George Kadzipatike said he is dismayed by the ruling, insisting that his client is innocent in the matter.

“I am shocked at that kind of judgment. We are appealing to the high court,” Kadzipatike said.

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