Fiscal Police in Blantyre said yesterday their investigations into the theft of public funds at Capital Hill identified K13 billion, but they are unable to trace the money and properties.
Fiscal police officer-in-charge Yacks Bonongwe said this yesterday in an interview in response to a question on how much of the Cashgate funds and property they have recovered to date .
“Our investigations have so far discovered that K13 billion government money was stolen. These findings are not related to the [Baker Tilly forensic] audit report because there are things that we have discovered which they did not capture,” said Bonongwe.
British firm Baker Tilly, in its forensic audit covering April to September 2013, established that about K24 billion was plundered from Capital Hill with Cashgate and payments without supply of goods amounting to K15 billion, expenditures without supporting documents or overpayment pegged at K4.8 billion and payments to foreign companies with no evidence at K3.9 billion.
Bonongwe said police carried out investigations which led to the arrest of a number of people. Currently, the police are in the second phase which is recovery of stolen money and property, an exercise that is proving difficult, prompting police to ask the public for assistance.
People with information on Cashgate-financed investments are required to call the toll-free number 4488, according to Bonongwe who said the information required include houses, developed or undeveloped land, motor vehicles, boats, bank accounts and cash.
In its February 14 2015 edition, our sister newspaper, Weekend Nation reported that a paltry K86 million (US$191 111) out of K24 billion (US$53 million) has been recovered and is in custody of the High Court.
The K86 million was recovered from three convicts: former principal secretary of Tourism Tressa Senzani who paid back K62 million and Maxwell Namata and Luke Kasamba who collectively paid back K24 million (US$53 333).