Court orders Standard Bank to produce cheque images to identify cashgate beneficiaries

Standard Bank of Malawi has been ordered by High Court to produce cheque images that show transactions carried on the accounts of companies owned by cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo between April and October 2013 identifying those that benefited from the infamous cashgate scandal.

Justice Redson Kapindu

Justice Redson Kapindu

The principal beneficiaries Lutepo, whose companies accounted for K4.2 billion (($7.5 million)of the total, was convicted on his own plea of guilty of conspiracy to defraud government of and money laundering.

A British-funded audit discovered evidence suggesting that fraudulent cheques were written out in big batches between April and September 2013.

Cashgate audit report conducted by British auditing firm Baker Tilly cheques were paid into at least ten different commercial banks throughout Malawi with the highest amount deposited in Standard Bank (49 %).  In comparison the lowest amount (1%) was deposited into OIBM.

The report says 22 cheques from 10 different businesses were banked at Standard Bank representing 49% of the ‘cashgate’ funds.

Analysis of the cheques deposited into Standard Bank shows the majority of this amount relates to two businesses being;  IPS and O&G Constructions  who  received  MK 1,860,584,273 and MK 1,140,738,209, respectively.

“These amounts total MK 3,001,322,562 which is 43.4% of the total ‘cashgate’ cheques. Both businesses are owned by Osward Lutepo,” reads the report in part.

The High Court judge Redson Kapindu sitting in Zomba registry on Monday has asked Standard Bank to make available the cheque images by September 2 and has also asked the defence team to make the cheque images available to the court by September 4 when sentencing will take place.

Defence lawyer Oswald Mtupila told the court that it was unfortunate that the cheque images the bank provided earlier did not show names of those who received money from the accounts of Lutepo’s Cashgate connected companies, Woget Industries Limited and International Procurement Services.

“The bank says its policy does not allow it to give account information to the third party, we really needed this information because it will vindicate my client as he was only used as a channel to siphon money from government coffers hence the ultimate beneficiaries would be known,” he said.

He also said he did not intend to dispute findings by an independent evaluator Amos Makalichi Chinkhadze of Lipindi Property Services who was hired by both the state and defence to re-evaluate Woget Industries which Lutepo restituted.

The assessor has since found that the company is worth K370 million ($658 363).

The property was a subject of controversy following huge discrepancies that followed as earlier the State found that it was worth K293 million ($521 352.31) while the defence said it was worthy K1.427 billion ($2.5 million).

The ‘Cashgate’ involved a systematic plunder that involved public officers conniving with private sector firms and  individuals.

The scandal led donors to suspend about $150m in budget support and aid to the Southern African nation. Malawi’s International Monetary Fund program also went off track because of the scandal.

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35 thoughts on “Court orders Standard Bank to produce cheque images to identify cashgate beneficiaries”

  1. Pafuka utsi pali moto says:

    Munva mpola! Mufuna munamizilepo ma policy…simungalilamule chochita khot. kuvutavuta konseku mukufuna kubisalaa..munva m bebe….ma top managers mukudziwa zomwe zinkachitika…komanso system yanuyo musinthe ma positions kungoika achitumba mbwee,agawilenkoni anzanu

  2. Kampani ya a tumbuka please produce chqs ;mwagawan ma branch onse aku mmwera Managers tumbukas check if i am cheating ‘blantyre;limbe;zomba balaka;ntcheu kkkkk

  3. Prosper Chabvuta says:

    According to m’y very limited legal understanding, a court supoena overrides any internal procédures of any organisation within the jurisdiction of the involved court. So please Standard Bank just comply with the learned judge’s request!

  4. Bob says:

    How could a mere bank dictate what the government should do in a sensitive issue like this one? Stolen money must be recovered we need to know who got what and how much. Is Standard Bank bigger than the courts? Musatinyansepo apa release the CCTV tapes or wina wadyapo zamumanja pamenepo.

  5. MCHEMO says:

    NOW IT’S WHEN I REMEMBER KONGWE SCHOOL – OTHERWISE KNOWN AS ROBERT BLAKE SCHOOL – WHOSE MOTTO IS:

    TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL

  6. simeon ivory says:

    Kayatu kumeneko Mai Hilda kumene kwatsala tchire mkumene kumapita moto

  7. Che Ngana says:

    In Most Cases Receivers Are Treated As Witnesses.I Dont See Anything Wrong With The Judge Calling For These Beneficiries.Munyanya Kulandira Zirizonse Akukwizinganidi Ndi Receiving Stollen Cash.Ignorance Of The Law Is Not Defence.Ndimadabwa Ine.

  8. Okay? says:

    Apa ndipomwe mai winawake walithawa dziko akokedwe “mapilikanilo”

  9. Pata phiri says:

    U mzee if someone who could not afford a car that even a used one and suddenly he gives u big donations then how could chakwera accept in good faith all are crooks

  10. Fanny says:

    Kodi Lawyer wa Standard Bank ndi ndani?Akuti policy?Is policy above statue?Let him or her read Tournier -v-National Provincial & Union Bank 1924.Musatinyase give out the images you idiots.

  11. Jang'ala says:

    ABank nanu lithandizeni boma polipasa umboni oyenera kukhotiko. Osamangokakamila zachamba apa.

  12. thumbwe man says:

    People people, how many x has Lutepo changed or told us his different versions of his involvement into the cash gate? Unyolo /ndende yamuyandikila so akufuna nsamilo. Kicks of a dying horse. Wanya nayo Lutepo, kkkkkkkkkkk. So aliyense was involved, tell us.

  13. Bob says:

    Yo Ho Ho a bottle of rum

  14. CHAKWERA NDI TOMBOLOMBO says:

    Apa Jb Kokhalira Kwake Kungotukula Pano Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk Sha!

  15. gojo says:

    yatentha wina amwa tarmec esh!!

  16. Capital hill says:

    That is why Standard bank has been dumped by government and switched to FDH

  17. Boy says:

    Std Bank operates under the Malawi Laws and the issue of policy has nothing to do with the court case. When it comes to such cases bwana, no mention of policies here. Azikatchulidwa ndikuima mu court mundu woti ndi murder suspect ndiye inu a Std Bank mukanene za ma cheque. Std Bank must comply with the court order otherwise tey face the wrath of shielding the money deals.

  18. steven says:

    Let me school these Bank people, !NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW”,whether in Malawi or anywhere. So Bank Policy cannot stop the directive of the Court. Take the case of Oscar’s Case in South Africa (who killed his girl friend) .The High Court directed the Cell phone Companies to produce all cellphone nos Oscar phoned out. to friends.All Companies never refuse, so why are Malawi Banks refusing. Beware these Banks will be committing a Crime to the Court and the Bank will be fined or owners be taken to Court of Law.When its an Order from Court, you Don’t Argue, you just follow the Orders. Finish and klack.Stop those LAME EXCUSES otherwise mulowa nazo m’mabvuto nkhani isakukukhuzani.

  19. Moses Makoko says:

    Kuli kuphulitsana ndulu chaka chino! Kuti thudzu! Nkuzati “pita, nawe kapeze mzako oti ukamuthudzule ndulu!”

  20. Andy Mwale says:

    it is sickening that we have an anti-corruption body that cannot even demand such evidence from these banks and it will take the whole court to demand such evidence. I have said it on other fora that the banking community in Malawi did not conduct themselves professionally during the Cashgate scandal and here we go now. More sickening is that the Central bank boss who superintended over this sleaze is still sitting phwiii in his office and the ACB does not even question his culpability in the scandal not to mention the government. if we are to have closure of this scandal everybody – individuals, companies, corporates who found themselves on the wrong side of the law should be exposed and punished otherwise no wonder our economy is in the intensive care. if ACB is going to inspire any confidence to Malawians let them pursue all those involved WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR!

  21. Yaya kumudzi says:

    SIDIKUONAPO AMAI APA . MWAMBWITA ZEDI

  22. Tsamba Likagwa says:

    You are mixing up cases here. We are not interested in the beneficiaries. You need another case to identify who are the beneficiaries. Lutepo needs to be sentenced on grounds that he is guily of the crime he committed. Thereafter, lets look at the other side. He was supoed to provide this informaiton long time before the vedict.

  23. Mzee says:

    Hahaha anthu opusa inu. Getting a cheque from Lutepo does not mean you are an accomplice. Was the cheque written cashgate money or proceeds of theft? What about churches and govt which got revenue through VAT. Just screw Lutepo he is the greedy fool. I can assure you JB is not part of this scam. She unwittingly benefited from the Scam. Iwe Kachale you seem excited and a mental case. How dare you involve MCP in this evil deed? The person you are talking about did not know that the 11 million was stolen money. He received the money in good faith.

  24. Apa ndipomwe Amayi agwilidwe apa kkkkkkkkkkk

  25. Lovemaniac 91 says:

    Zomwe mukambiranezo mutiwuza. Jst kill thise thugs!

  26. Manyaziulibe says:

    This should be a lesson to you politicians, Please don’t be used . We have seen some they take themselves as good speakers in their party meetings, talking nonsense things and when things turn upside down you want us to be your sympathisers (rabbish).
    Am saying of you lady who always pretend to be good at this. I always feel sorry for you lady.
    Change your behaviour it’s shameful though you pretend you don’t care.

  27. Dango says:

    Bank what? POLICY? mukunamatu guys inu ingopangani mwachilamulo cha court basi.The courts are bigger than your bank and your policy too.

  28. Truck says:

    MVULA YIKAKUONA LITSILO SIYIKATA KIKI!

  29. Blessed Banda says:

    If the bank insist on its policy issue, close it down because it is not helping the country. Infact the principle client of the said cheques is the convict and he wants them. Why should the bank now refuse in trying to protect the receipient and not the source who is demanding for the cheques he issued for his own efence.

  30. John says:

    THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT RUN USING STANDARD BANK POLICY, LET THEM PROVIDE INFORMATION BEING ASKED BY COURTS!

  31. John says:

    BANKS ARE UNDER OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE COURTS FOR PURPOSES OF COURT PROCEEDINGS. WHETHER THEIR POLICY IS TO PROTECT THIRD PARTIES DOES NOT MATTER, OTHERWISE, THAT BANK MUST BE TREATED AS AN ACCOMPLICE.

  32. MaiMai says:

    But 10 years is too little for someone who plundered such huge sums then he’s even asking for less than this?

  33. Mwethu says:

    I think client confidentiality should not be used as a means by STD Bank to defeat justice in this case. If at all the banks care for the economy of Malawi they should help the Govt in this matter. We know STD Bank performance during these years was above excellent and no wonder most of the profits came from laundering these cashgate cheques. So they must be FORCED and Govt through the RBM must do whatever it takes for the bank to submit the cheque images.

  34. .... says:

    Mumva Director of Public Prosrcution kuti ndi Joyce Banda anakakasha ma cheque wo si choncho. This DPP woman is DPP (party sympathiser)

  35. Mbiyazodooka says:

    Just lock up these bastards. What you call plea bargains or leniency are a total nonsense. Poor Malawians did not get any leniency from the donors when they cut off aid due to the selfish conduct of these thugs. Throw them in jail and let them rot there!

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