The State has charged businessperson Zameer Karim of Pioneer Investments with intent to defraud Ecobank Malawi K850 million by allegedly fraudulently obtaining a loan purportedly guaranteed by Malawi Police Service.
Fiscal Police Department arrested the businessperson in Blantyre on Thursday last week before taking him to Lilongwe alongside an employee of the bank, Victoria Chanza, who was arrested on Friday and was granted police bail in Lilongwe on Saturday.
When they appeared before the Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe yesterday, Karim and Chanza pleaded not guilty to three counts of forgery contrary to Section 358 of the Penal Code, uttering a false document contrary to Section360 of Penal Code and fraud other than false pretences contrary to Section319 (A) of the Penal Code.
The two are accused of presenting a Notice of Assignment of Proceeds purporting to have been signed by Malawi Police director of finance and his deputy, undertaking to directly pay Ecobank K850 million as proceeds of a contract between police and Karim of Oil and Protein Company Limited.
Meanwhile, principal resident magistrate Viva Nyimba yesterday granted bail to Karim. He also validated the police bail for Chanza.
The bail conditions included K500 000 bail bond cash each, one surety at K1 million each non-cash, surrendering of travel documents and appearing before Southern Region Police Headquarters at Chichiri in Blantyre every fortnight.
The State had applied for lawful custody of the suspects and requested 10 days to finish with their investigations.
The court has set December 16 2020 as the date to commence trial.