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K335 million goes missing at Loans Board

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Police in Lilongwe have arrested Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board (HESLGB) Loans and Grants Manager Chimwemwe Kaphagawani and Communications Manager Success Sikwese over alleged theft of about K335 million meant for students loans.

The two are expected to answer charges of theft by persons employed in the public service and money laundering.

According to court documents which The Daily Times has seen, the two had, on April 8 2018 in Lilongwe, in their custody about K300 million and were unable to account for the money to their employer.

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In the second count, Kaphagawani is accused of money laundering, in line with Section 42(1) (a) of the Financial Crimes Act.

“Chimwemwe Kaphagawani, in the year 2018 in the City of Lilongwe, knowingly or having reasonable grounds to believe that money amounting to K25 million directly or indirectly represented proceeds of a predicate offence, transferred the said money with intent of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of that money,” the count reads.

In the third count of money laundering, Sikwese is accused of transferring K10 million with the intent of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of that money.

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The matter dates back to 2018, when former HESLGB executive director the late Chris Chisoni and other officials were alleged to have been involved in the theft.

Chisoni was accused of misusing about K17 million in a deal on the printing of diaries, calendars and other stationery at a time several higher learning institution students needed financial support in the form of a loan.

The board, apart from giving out loans, also recovers loans from former students who benefitted from government loans.

Last week, several accountants in the office of the Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance were arrested for allegedly conniving with accountants from government agencies to siphon money from Account Number One through allowances.

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