South African arrested in Malawi for possession of MK2m fake Travelers’ Cheques

Malawi Police in the northern city of Mzuzu have arrested a South African national for attempting to defraud Standard Bank Mzuzu branch of MK2 million using fake American Express Travelers’ Cheques.

Mzuzu Police Station Public Relations Officer Sergeant Maurice Chapola confirmed the arrest of Bonface Mkosi, 47 of Short Street in Cape Town, South Africa.

Police have since charged Mkosi, who is currently on bail, with uttering false documents and forgery contrary to section 360 of the penal code and section 358 respectively.

Trial for Mkosi started on Friday before First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri.

Ghambi: Attorney  for the Nkosi, asked for Polcie to take susect to hospital
Ghambi: Attorney for Nkosi, asked for Police to take suspect to hospital

The court heard that on 16th January, 2013 the suspect in a company of his friend – currently not traced – went into the Standard Bank Malawi  branch in Mzuzu where they wanted to cash Travelers’ Cheques worthy US$6,000 (MK2 million).

According to Police prosecutor, Peter Chiona Mkosi handed over 12 Travelers’ Cheques which were in US$500 denominations and a passport numbered 7324400362 to the bank teller for transaction.

The cheques were tendered in court as part of evidence.

“But when the cheques were taken to Branch Manager for verification it was discovered that they had faulty serial numbers and that the suspect’s passport had some alterations. That prompted the bank to alert Police, who rushed to the bank and arrested Mkosi,” a witness, who works for the bank told the court.

The Bank’ Manager, Supply Mwale told the court in cross examination that the  Standard Bank would have lost close to MK2 million had it not detected the alleged fraud.

The suspect’s lawyer Christon Ghambi of CHRAM Associates pleaded with the court to exercise fair trial by not infringing on the rights of the suspect, whom he said needed medical attention.

The Magistrate has since ordered the State to take the suspect to the hospital awaiting further hearing.

However, the State asked the Court to adjourn the case to 28th February 2013 to allow for two more witnesses who have been called to prove on the genuineness of the Cheques.

Hearing will continue on February 28th, 2013.

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