Thursday, October 22, 2020

Malawi: Reserve Bank Manager Mchakulu Arrested Over K354m Fraud

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Malawi Police have arrested Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) manager (fiscal operations) Charles Mchakulu, two other central bank’s employees, as well as entrepreneur Lucy Rachel Sukali trading as Ideal Stationery in connection with K354 million, feared stolen at RBM.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the arrests and identified the other central bank’s employees as Olivia Phiri and Rebecca Chisenga. He said the four have been slapped with charges of conspiracy, theft and money laundering. “Investigations are in progress,” he said.

According to police, the figure involved has been revised from K340 million to K354 million as investigations continue.

RBM spokesperson Mbane Ngwira confirmed about the missing of the millions, saying the fraud was discovered through a system of surveillance of transactions in the banking system.

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He said the suspected employees ” had been making unsupported transfers from a government ORT [other recurrent transactions] account to a stationery supplier, Ideal Stationery.”

On June 12, 2019, Financial Intelligence Authority [FIA] obtained a freeze order with Mchakulu and Sukali, whose account was used as a conduit to siphon money from the bank, as respondents.

Through the court order, the FIA wants to freeze a bank account at National Bank of Malawi Victoria Avenue Service Centre in Blantyre which at the time the order was issued had a balance of K120 917 295.60.

The order in civil case number 432 of 2019 further restrains residential property at plot number Area 6/137 and residential property number Area12/460.

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