Malawi’s former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara was Monday morning re-arrested on a fresh charge of money laundering.
Five police vehicles at 5.30 stormed Kasambara’s house at his Area 10 residence in the capital, Lilongwe. He refused to open saying he was still asleep.
According to Kasambara, the police, whose first attempt to affect an arrest failed to effect due to an error on the warrant of arrest, arrived at his home at 5:30am on two vehicles, a beige Toyota Corolla and a white land cruiser which towed his Mercedez Benz registration NB 4375, which police say was the vehicle used in the shooting of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo.
At 7.30 he met them and they showed him a warrant of arrest .
“Yes I been picked by police,” he said in an interview with Nyasa Times in the morning.
He was taken to police headquarters in Area 30, before being transferred to Lilongwe Police Station in Area 3
His arrest follows comment made by Justice Minister Fahad Assani on a private radio on Sunday that there is “overwhelming” objective evidence against Kasambara that was involved in the shooting of Mphwiyo.
However, police sources said there are new charges relating to “theft”.
Police national spokeswoman Rhoda Manjolo said details of the new arrest will be made public after they have questioned Kasambara.
Kasambara later said he could not be in Police custody because the “warrant of arrest was for Ralph Kasambara. I am not. I am Raphael Kasambara. Now waiting for a proper warrant of arrest.”
He explained that State are pressing the charge of money laundering contrary to Section 35 of the Money Laundering Act.
Kasambara is accused that in August 2013 practicing as Ralph and Arnold Associates he dealt with a cheque of MK55m million which a client used to buy a house in Area 47.
The cheque is said to have belonged to Pika Manondo, who wanted to buy a house and had contacted Ralph and Arnolds to assist him
However, Kasambara said at that time time he was a minister of justice and ” never run or provided as a lawyer.”
The legal firm was being run by Wapona Kitta.
Meanwhile, dozens of armed police officers were surrounding Kasambara’s residence awaiting for officer to amend a warrant of arrest with correct particulars .
Kasambara was earlier arrested in November on a charge of attempting to murder former Budget director Paul Mphwiyo but the charge was later changed to conspiracy to murder Mphwiyo. He is on bail on that charge.
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