A Tanzanian oil company has been duped by conmen in Malawi in the name of State House, the Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani has said after disowning contracts documents.
According to a letter circulating on the social media, State House in Malawi wrote the company asking for $20,000 dollars for a contract on oil. The company honoured the payment thorough FMB Bank.
Kalilani whose signature appears on the letter has disowned the letter.
‘‘It’s completely bogus,” Kalilani told Nyasa Times when he was quizzed to explain.
Speaking from New York where he is accompanying President Peter Mutharika at United Nations General Assembly, Kalilani told Nyasa Times that he received an inquiry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday asking about the letter. According to the Ministry, a Tanzanian company has approached their Mission in Lilongwe to find out the authenticity of the documents.
“I told them the documents are completely bogus, the purported State House letter did not come from me. My office does not deal with oil. I have told them to report the matter to Police,’’ Kalilani said.
In apost on Fcaebook, the presidential press secretary maintained that the communication “neither came from State House as purported nor from me as an individual.”
He wrote: “What I have gathered from the inquiry is that the said money was eventually paid to the thieves using an account domiciled at the FMB Bank. My attempt to understand the transaction has not yielded desired results.”
Kalilani added: “I have advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask the Tanzanian mission to report the matter to police as a matter of urgency so that they can investigate.
“Since there appears a complainant, a bank slip, and an account number on the transaction, I am of the view that investigating agencies have enough leads to get to the bottom of this matter.”
Kalilani has asked the general public to “tread carefully” when approached by individuals posing as State House officials.
“State House does not handle any contracts on behalf of the Government of Malawi and the State House Press Office is not a secretarial office of the Government of Malawi. The Secretarial office of the Government of Malawi, is the office of the Chief Secretary,” he wrote.
According to the documents, the fraudsters demanded the K14.7 million as part payment of their agreed contract fee, which was to be paid by instalments within four months. The company duly deposited the $20 000 at FMB Bank Capital City Branch account number 10000122890 on July 31 2018.
The company, in turn, was given a government General Receipt (GR) J no 61888564 for contract fee no. 1000064/18 with station being OPC.
The letter said the contract is with effect from July 1 2018 and advised the company to come in “person” to sign the agreement form of the contract within October 2018.
On his part, State-owned National Oil Company of Malawi communications officer Telephorous Chigwenembe, imports fuel into the country, said he was not aware of the contract.
The letter in circulation is combining two offices, OPC/ State House and presents the Presidential Spokesperson as representing both.
In the letter, the name of the Presidential Spokesperson is also mis-spelt.
This is not the first time the State House has been targeted for use to con unsuspecting business men.
Last July other conmen also authored a letter apparently coming from Presidential Press Secretary asking for funds to fund the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) convention. State House disowned the letter. The conmen disappeared and they have not been found.
State House has meanwhile repeated its warning to individuals to treat anyone asking money from them in the name of presidential palace as a suspect and report the thieves to police.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :