The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday arrested CDH Investment Bank chief executive officer (CEO) Misheck Esau for allegedly failing to conduct due diligence and monitor business relationship and the transactions of Pioneer Investments with the financial institution.
In an interview last evening, ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala confirmed Esau’s arrest. She said the Blantyre-based Esau was arrested in Lilongwe.
She refused to take further questions beyond the graft-busting body’s issued statement.
The ACB statement said Esau would likely be charged with conspiracy contrary to Section 35 as read with Section 25 B of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA); Failure to conduct due diligence and monitoring contrary to Section 29 of the Financial Crimes Act; influencing the use of public office for advantage contrary to Section 25B (2) of the CPA and money laundering contrary to Section 42 (1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act.
The statement added that Esau would be taken to court when the bureau concludes recording a statement from him.
The office of the Attorney General (AG) is said to have committed Malawi Government to pay CDH Investment Bank, on behalf of a private contractor, in the controversial K2.7 billion Malawi Police Service (MPS) food rations deal.
The AG is also said to have committed to pay CDH Investment Bank which had given the contractor, Pioneer Investments Limited, a loan to facilitate performance of the contract.
The case came to light last June through a leaked ACB investigation report which indicated that government paid K2.7 billion directly to Pioneer Investment against an undertaking by an officer at MPS to pay the contract price to CDH investment Bank Limited.
The direct payment to the contractor saw the bank losing out; hence, the court action.
The investigation report also mentioned the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a beneficiary of the proceeds as Pioneer’s Zameer Karim deposited K145 million into its bank account at Standard Bank whose sole signatory was President Peter Mutharika.
The AG voluntarily joined the case as a third defendant after CDH Investment Bank took to court Karim of Pioneer Investments as first defendant and The Oil and Protein Company Limited as second defendant in the High Court Commercial Division classified as commercial case No. 276 of 2017.
Following pressure from civil society organisations (CSOs), among others, DPP said it would refund the money.
Two senior MPS officials, Innocent Bottoman and Grant Kachingwe, were interdicted last December following their arrest alongside Karim by the ACB. n