The High Court in Blantyre has set February 14 to rule on whether there should be a split trial in the K20.9 billion ‘Bankgate’ case, in which a Pakistani national, Abdul Rehman, allegedly defrauded local banks.
Some banks in the country were defrauded out of at least K20.9 billion after a Pakistani businessperson, who was one of the directors at a local cotton company, obtained loan facilities totalling K20.9 billion and fled the country.
The major victim of the alleged ‘Bankgate’ is Standard Bank Limited, K8 585 177 082, followed by Export Development Fund, K4 092 547 425, Ecobank Malawi Limited, K3 499 481 627, CDH Investment Bank, K4 476 302 691 and National Bank of Malawi K250 000 000.
Rehman fled the country in April 2017 after remitting over $5 million (over K3.6 billion) in foreign accounts, according to an audit report by Audit Consult Advisory Services Limited dated July 23 2017, court documents show.
Defence lawyer Alexius Nampota told High Court on Thursday that first accused Rehman and second accused Abdul Kader Patel, one of the directors of Cotton Ginners Africa Limited, were building cases on each other and they should be tried separately.
But Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mary Kachale said complainants in the case were the commercial banks, saying the defece is trying ti divide the case between families.
“There is no basis for that. This cannot be a family issue it is a Republic issue,” said Kachale.
The State also asked the court that Export Development Fund should be separated from four commercial banks involced in the case.
Kachale said Export Development Fund investigations were completed while the commercial banks were still under investigations.
The defence objected to the application.
Judge Sylvester Kalembera said he will make his determination on February 14 at 9am on the two applications.
Rehman, the court documents disclose, stayed in Malawi for over 15 years and held both Malawi and Pakistan passports.
The auditors describe Rehman as a man with strong negotiating skills and a person who knows exactly what he is doing, explaining that as for Cotton Ginners, he ensured that all relevant documentation or registrations were in order with relevant institutions or authorities.
The company, Cotton Ginners Africa Limited, was incorporated under the Malawi Companies Act. The court record reads that Rehman was made managing director and company secretary, in charge of day-to-day running and management of the company.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :