An employee of Standard Bank, Blantyre Branch, Yohane Makowa Banda and his girlfriend, Sibongile Beni have been sentenced to seven and five years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) respectively over theft and money laundering.
Public Relations Officer of Blantyre Police Station, Sub Inspector, Augustus Nkhwazi said Banda was working with Standard Bank as a teller until July 28, 2018 when he stopped reporting for duties after withdrawing K10 million from a Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) account number 91000031533123 held at the Bank.
“According to the Bank Manager at the Branch, Joseph Moyo, they made several efforts to follow up on why Banda was not reporting for his duties but to no avail.
A check on the Bank’s security cameras (CCTV) over Banda’s last transaction revealed that he posted five transactions of K 2 million each from the MRA’s account which his girlfriend cashed and was shown counting within the banking hall,” Nkhwazi explained.
He said that investigations were made after the matter was reported to Police and the two were arrested by Police in Salima on September 18, 2018 where they were hiding in a rented house and by that time they had bought a piece of land and a motor vehicle Toyota Sienta saloon registration number CK 1128.
“Banda was charged with theft and money laundering which is contrary to financial crimes Act of 2017 while his girlfriend was charged with money laundering but they both pleaded not guilty to charges. The Court found them guilty after a successful trial,” Nkhwazi added.
Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate, Chapita Banda sentenced Banda to seven years IHL for theft and another seven years for money laundering and sentences to run concurrently while Sibongile was sentenced to five years IHL for money laundering.
The Motor vehicle, Toyota Sienta which the two purchased, the court will make an order whether to surrender the vehicle to Standard Bank or government.
Makowa Banda hails from Yapa village Traditional Authority (TA) Mkanda in Mulanje while Sibongile hails from Kasiya Village TA Khongoni in Lilongwe.