Beleaguered major tobacco company AHL Group, caught up in a K44 billion government bail-out scandal, had its warehouse for gutted by mysterious fire at Kanengo Industrial Site in Lilongwe on Saturday afternoon.
The fire is believed to have been ‘organised’ by AHL Group bosses as the rope is tighten close on their necks following revelations that government has bailed them out of a whopping K44 billion loss incurred under their watch two years ago.
AHL through its spokesperson Teresa Ndanga confirmed the warehouse gutted is for one of its subsidiaries TIL Limited which specialises in rhwandling tobacco, selling hessian sacks and the purchase of agriculture products.
Ndanga said the company is investigating “the cause of the fire” and that an assessment is also underway “to estimate the worth of the property we lost.”
Lilongwe Fire Brigade station officer Amin Katesefu confirmed that the fire started late Saturday afternoon at the warehouse where is it believed that some items were burnt to ashes.
But sources say the fire was organised.
“The issue is that AHL Group did not have the actual goods in the warehouse than what they had on paper and the best way of covering this up was through fire. Most of the bosses at AHL Group knew that there was going to be a fire today,” said a source privy to the story of the K44 billion financial loss at AHL Group.
“In this case, AHL Group will tell their insurers the goods that were in the warehouse which was in fact not in their warehouse but in their papers and they will be happy they have covered this,” he said.
AHL Group has been embroiled in the K44 billion financial loss which prompted a local bank to put on sale its two tobacco auction floors, Mzuzu and Chinkhoma.
Nyasa Times can reveal that government has bailed out AHL Group in a K44 billion loss to save the selling of Mzuzu and Chinkhoma floors to interested members if the general public.
The financial problems that AHL Group is facing now are said to have been masterminded by AHL Group Chief Executive Officer Evance Matabwa, a close relation to President Peter Mutharika, by diverting some cash resources to the ruling DPP hence the bail out by government.
AHL group which wholly owns Malawi Leaf Compnay, TIL Limited, Agriculture Trading Company (ATC), AHL Chemicals and Steel-Limited and AHL Commodities Exchange, was formerly known as Auction Holdings Limited until February , 2015.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :