Suspected fraudster Zameer Karim has squarely blamed former Director of Finance at the Malawi Police Service, late Innocent Botomani, for forgery in a bid to defending himself of the crimes.
Karim knows the dead cannot speak to defend themselves, however before his passing last month, Botomani denied offering the documents to Karim.
Karim, trading as Pioneer Investments, is accused of conspiring with Bottomani and Kachingwe between 14 December 2014 and 19 September 2019 at Ministry of Finance in the City of Lilongwe and stole K7,431,169,134.74 from police.
But in the case under Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa, he alongside Victoria Chanza, Head of Domestic Banking at Ecobank, are accused of forgery and fraud over the alleged use of false documents to obtain a K150 million loan at Ecobank.
Karim and Chanza, are accused of forging Police documents, which helped to secure a K150 million loan from Ecobank on the pretext that Karim had a contract with the Malawi Police Service.
The documents were a commitment to Ecobank to facilitate the loan to Pioneer Investments. It assured the commercial bank that MPS would pay the businessperson.
Botomani, who was arrested alongside Karim, fellow police officer Grant Kachingwe in the K7 billion food rations scandal, which is now being tried separately at the Lilongwe Magistrates Court by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), died early this month due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Karim maintained that senior police officers, including the then Deputy Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa approved the bank arrangement and said eventually a letter to the bank was produced by the Police Service through Botomani.
His defence team, led by former Attorney General (AG) and ACB Director General, Alex Nampota, questioned the credibility of the subsequent police investigation, arguing the investigators deliberately ignored several key streams of evidence such as emails, text messages and letters, which corroborate Karim’s argument that the letter originated from MPS.
Nampota’s cross-examination put much emphasis on an alleged meeting between Botomani and Mwapasa, which agreed on price adjustment for the contract Karim had with police.
Mwapasa is reported to have communicated details of the meeting to Karim through a WhatsApp message.
But State witness insisted that the letter did not originate from Botomani, but from Karim himself.
It was heard that Karim had access to several police letters, which he used to imitate [forge] Botomani’s signature and added that Botomani disowned the document and further investigations proved that the document was not authored by the police.
But Nampota argued that the conclusion was a result of a shoddy investigation.
“Weren’t your findings wrong? If you had seen these documents during that investigation, would you have maintained the same position?” he asked.
“Their investigation was not good enough, during the investigation our client told them he had letters, emails and texts which indicated that this letter was issued by the top most in Malawi Police service,” said Nampota.
According to particulars of the case, Karim and Chanza, in August 2015, using his companies, Oil and Protein Company Limited and Pioneer Investments obtained a K150 million loan from Ecobank using forged documents with a promise to pay back the loan from proceeds of the MPS food ration deal, but never did.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :