Intelligence Unit probes Malawi army over payments

The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) is reportedly being investigated by the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) for some of the payments it made amounting to about K3 billion following revelations by Nyasa Times.

The amount was paid through five cheques of K499 million each and another of K456 million for supply military items.

The six cheques in questions were all dated 17th  July, 2013 and confirmed by Major Kafuwa and Nyondo from the MDF.

According to a Daily Times report, the FIU has already written a number of banks requesting transaction details for bank accounts of the company last year.

Geenral Odillo: Documents not released

Geenral Odillo: Documents not released

FIU, however, said the unit was only acting in “administrative capacity” and not investigate money laundering.

“Under Section 17 of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, the FIU cannot disclose any confidential information except where it is required by the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).

“Therefore, in compliance with the provision we cannot say whether or not we handled, requested or got information from any bank relation to cheque payments made to SF International,” the paper quotes Masautso Ebere, FIU Team Leader- Compliance and Prevention, in its Thursday’s (February 20) edition.

He said the intelligence the unit generates is passed on to LEAs for investigations and prosecutions and make public announcements from time to time on cases being handled.

“As such they are the right entities to be contacted on this,” he added.

The paper further said Ebere declined to comment on issues related to cashgate arguing that the matters are under investigations and in court.

“FIU cannot comment on any issues which may be in court or under investigation,” Ebere told the paper.

Earlier, the FIU said with the help of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), they were probing some companies who were defrauding government and had requested the central bank for images of cheques that were paid out.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) have been frustrated in their probe to the military for the K2.9 Billion unaccounted for after they were refused access to supporting documents.

It was reported that the graft-busting body had been pressing the MDF Commander, General Henry Odillo, to produce the supporting documents for examination but he declined on pretext they were “security and secret document.”

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