The High Court in Lilongwe has found guilty Angela Katengeza on the charge that she used her company’s bank account to launder K105 million ($146 444) that was proceeds of crime.
Katengeza was initially charged alongside former tourism officer in the Ministry of Tourism Leonard Kalonga but he was dropped from the case after he pleaded guilty to all cashgate related charges.
It was Katengeza’s defence that Kalonga took advantage of a family relationship to dupe her into involvement in cashgate but she did not benefit from the transactions carried out through her company, Faith Construction.
Delivering the judgment today, Justice Fiona Mwale however, found Katengeza liable arguing that she should have known that the money which Leonard Kalonga gave her was tainted because she had no knowledge that he was in the construction industry.
Mwale said even if it was not obvious that the cheques amounting to K105 million drawn from the account of her company were not tainted, lending the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) certificate to Kalonga was illegal.
The judge said it was clear that Kalonga did not ask her first to keep the money but asked to use her NCIC certificate which meant that there was trust between the two.
“This court, on the basis of the prosecution proving beyond reasonable doubt finds the accused guilty of money laundering contrary to Section 13 of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crime and Terrorist
Financing Act. Bail is therefore revoked and the accused will be remanded in custody awaiting sentencing,” Mwale said.
During hearing last year, Katengeza’s statement to Police indicated that Kalonga brought three cheques which she deposited into her FDH Bank account then withdrew and gave the money to him.
Apparently, Katengeza had agreed that she would get a commission after the third cheque was deposited but this did not come to pass.