Malawi Police arrest six for K80m fraud

Police in Mangochi are keeping six people in custody for suspecting to have been involved in fraud transactions at Njereza Cement Product Company in the district.

Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Rodrick Maida said they arrested the six suspects on January 2 this year in Lilongwe and Salima districts respectively following an audit report which revealed the fraud activities.

Maida said five suspects are alleged to have connived with the cement manufacturing company’s accountant to be collecting the building plaster fraudulently.

He said between November and December last year the suspects entered into a syndicate with the company accountant to be obtaining cement from the factory by producing false bank deposit slips from National Bank of Malawi and First Merchant Banks respectively.

“The company’s policy is that anyone who wants to buy cement from the factory has to deposit an amount of money into one of the two banks in advance and produce the deposit slips at the time of collection of the commodity as evidence, a system the suspects took advantage to abuse,” Maida said.

The police publicist said the suspects had been collecting the cement between the months of November and December in 2012 and were selling the product in retail hardware outlet shops in Lilongwe and Salima.

Maida said the dubious deals were discovered on January 2 this year by a team of internal auditors which established that K80 million had been lost and that over 200 bags of cement were recovered from shops in the two districts.

The suspects were identified as Leonard Katsokwe, 36, Anthony Tandwe, 32, Ausi Banda, 30, Rashid Meleka, 32, Gracian Nanthambwe, 32 and Fainesi Mulauzi, 34.

Katsokwe comes from Mabunda village in the area of Chief Maganga in Salima, Tandwe hails from Jere village in T/A Malenga in Ntchisi, Banda originates from Kanyenda village in the area of T/A Kadewere in Chiradzulu, Meleka from Mkanyira village in Chief Bibi Kuluunda’s area in Salima and Nanthambwe comes from Chomba village in the area of Chief Mponda in Mangochi.

While Mulauzi, the company’s female accountant hails from Nkhalamba village in the area of Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre.

According to Maida the six suspects who are currently on remand are waiting for the police to finalise with their investigations and will appear before the court to answer to case of forgery and altering a document which is contrary to section 356 of the penal code.

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