Indian in plea bargain over K371mil gold: Lawyer Wadi tells Malawi court

Private practice lawyer Ishmael Wadi has told Lilongwe Magistrate Court that his client, an Indian who was arrested at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe when he was found in possession of 15 bars of gold weighing 13.747 kilograms valued at K371.9 million wants to enter a plea of guilty.

Wadi: Gold bar should be tested again

Moinuddian Mohamed Iqbar Sodagar who was arrested on December 30 last year was also found externalising foreign exchange without documentation with K500 million in his possession at the time he wanted to exit the country.

The Indian was found in possession of $622 820, 15 860 euros and £2 015.

Wadi, former Director of Public Prosecution, told the court that “in the interest speedy disposal of the case” Sodagar wants to admit wrong doing in some of the charges.

Sodagar faces the charge of attempting to illegally transfer bullion out of the country contrary to Regulation 8 (1) of the exchange control regulations as read with section 3 of the Exchange Control Act.

But Wadi wants prosecution to give an alternative charge to attempt to ship out gold bullion.

The purity o f gold tested to be 99 percent pure but Wadi contest that the purity rating could be around 78 percent.

Wadi also argues that the State has no objective evidence on first count of money laundering, saying he can share sources of the money with invoices.

“We would request that the defence be allowed to serve the State on sources of funds in 10 days and then investigate for 30 days,” said Wadi.

But State prosecutor Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda accused the defence of playing delaying tactics.

Nyirenda, who is also legal officer of Reserve Bank of Malawi, accused Wadi of playing tactics “to waste the court’s precious time.”

He told the court that they have objective evidence to prove that the foreign currency was illegally obtained by the Indian.

Principal Resident Magistrate  Patrick Chirwa ruled that the accused should be accorded “right to fair trial” and that the court would allows further testing of the gold bars and plea bargain.

“While the court agrees that the case must be expedited because of the public attention, the court is of the view that proceeding with hearing now would be tantamount to denying the accused to the right to a fair trial,” he said.

He adjourned the case to March 30. Plea will be taken on this day.

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tozer tsono
tozer tsono
5 years ago

Wadi, defending an indian criminal, after speaking derisively of all except one Malawian, Peter Mutharika.
Well, I hope the speedy trial means his client gets maximum penalty for all his crimes.
Currying favors from the big man to save criminals!

malawi akutha
malawi akutha
5 years ago

I Malawian we stopped following justice .. in Uk this indian man he was supposed to be arrested there after serving it was deportation straight , in Germany the same.. in ireland or Holland the same CHINA HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE KILLED . NOW this man took took advantage of our polous immigration system kulimba mtima kutenga ndalama zonsenzo and Gold my country I don’t know where we are going how can this man do that… This man must be arrested like normal Malawian he must serve atengere phunzilo then deport him he is not a good citizen what… Read more »

5 years ago

Malawi my country,where are we heading to?If this Indian would have left Kamuzu International Airport without a Tip, he would have left with him close to a billion Malawi Kwacha considering also the value of Gold. Oooh wait a minute, so we have such pure Gold in Malawi and yet we pretend we dont have enough resources? The Chinese are caught at the Airport with kgs of Ivory and we complain the country is poor? Oooh if i may ask you, where is that money right now?We have to know where it is by the way?Can we not seriously think… Read more »

5 years ago

Wadi is just wasting Court’s time. This Malawian of Indian origin (or is it Indian of Malawi origin?) is a thief and should be treated as such. By the way, how many successful prosecutions did Wadi make while he was ACB boss? Any wonder late Kamuzu introduced Traditional Courts? He was aware of delaying tactics by incompetent lawyers as is the case here.

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