K42 billion Malawi Leaf probe over

Exposes money laundering, fraud by top managers

James Kadadzera

Malawi Police Service (MPS) has completed investigations into the K42 billion which disappeared from a Malawi Leaf Limited Bank account two years ago.

MPS spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said they were about to submit the files to the Ministry of Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions.

“This means that former top bosses (of the company) are expected to be charged for money laundering, fraud among other others,” he said.


According to a police docket that Malawi News has seen, other charges include recording of stolen money as existing tobacco stock in warehouses when there was no stock and excessive and unjustifiable sales travel.

Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) Group owns Malawi Leaf and had been unable to pay staff salaries for over three months.

It is highly thought that it was the K42 billion scam that drove AHL Group into the financial mess.


The situation forced it to seek a K6 billion government bail-out to cater for salaries of staff at both AHL Group and its subsidiaries.

In 2017, an audit at AHL Group had revealed a loss of K45 billion, of which K42 billion was posted by Malawi Leaf.

AHL Group spearheads 53 percent of the country’s total tobacco exports.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson, Gift Trapence, has since welcomed the conclusion of the probe.

“We want justice on this matter. AHL and other parastatals have been centres of abuse by politicians and public officers. No wonder AHL staff have not been receiving salaries for months,” Trapence said.

HRDC has since asked the Tonse Alliance-led government to conduct forensic audit at AHL to unearth all other suspected abuse of public resources and bring to book those responsible.

HRDC said the audit should also be extended to other suspected public institutions.

Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency, Executive Director, Willy Kambwandira, also welcomed the conclusion of the investigation but decried the pace at which the police worked.

“It is encouraging that Malawi Police has finally concluded investigations on the matter. Our concern though is that it has taken Police years to conclude the investigation and this sometimes affects evidence,” he said.

Kambwandira said the timing of their conclusion vindicates fears that some oversight institutions were captured and could not independently perform their duties.

“It is our expectation that both Malawi Police and the Office of the DPP will move with speed to ensure that people suspected to have participated in the looting at Malawi Leaf face the law and our taxes recovered,” Kambwandira said.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker