We would like to go back and review the 2017 Financial Intelligence Centre Report. The report is interesting because it contains key information related to the cases now brought forward against Infrastructure Minister Ronald Chitotela by the Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC. Anyone who read the 2017 FIC report can connect the dots. You will also realise that the ACC has only slapped Chitotela with minor crimes thus far considering the magnitude of what he has done. The ACC has a clear opportunity to charge him with theft of over K100 Million if they can act professionally and independently. The News Diggers Investigative report published a few days ago reinforces and also denotes the same financial crimes as in the FIC Report for example the $2 Million (K24 Million equivalent) received by Chitotela as kickbacks from his corrupt deals.
We would now like to reference Case Study 3, Page 19 from the 2017 FIC Report. The person referred to herein as PEP Mr X is without any shadow of a doubt Ronald Chitotela.
The Below is an Excerpt from FIC 2017 Trends Report.
‘4.3 Case study 3 – Politically Exposed Persons, DNFBPs (Bribery & Corruption, Tax Evasion)
We received a report in which a PEP Mr. X had been receiving huge payments from a government ministry in his company account. The report stated that the suspicion emanated from huge payments in excess of USD 2 Million which the politically exposed person (PEP) had received. Further, that the transfers were usually followed by multiple transfers and cash withdrawals.
I. Our inquiry revealed that Mr. X had registered interest in five companies. One of the five companies, ABC was active. The other companies seemed to exist on paper only. An analysis of company account at one bank, revealed the following:
In the period under review, from August 2015 to April 2016, Company ABC received credits amounting to USD 6 Million and ZMW 70 Million in the foreign and kwacha accounts. We noted that all the payments originated from a Government Ministry. The withdrawals on the account were predominantly in the form of cash and transfers to law firms. Upon review of the law firms’ accounts, it was noted that the funds were mostly drawn in cash and transfers to other law firms.
II. Secondly, it was noted that the same Government Ministry awarded a number of contracts to Company ABC to supply equipment in 2014. We verified that there was no equipment imported by Company ABC. Further, that companies in which Mr. X had interest in, were none compliant for tax purposes. The findings were corroborated with other government agencies. Within a short period of time of being associated to a political party, Mr. X has increased his wealth and subsequently acquired a number of properties.
In the case under review, it was noted that Company ABC solely relied on The Government payment to order equipment. Further, it was noted that the same funds paid by the Government were used to start liquidating a loan obtained from a Government Institution. In an effort to disguise the source of funds, our analysis indicated that huge amounts were transferred to Law firms where the funds were later withdrawn in cash. This is a clear scheme of misuse of designated Non-Financial Institutions and Professions (DNFBP). ‘
End of Excerpt
1:The financial crimes potentially committed by Chitotela total in excess of $6 million and K70 Million, a grand total of over K140 Million.
2: The ACC has only charged Chitotela with concealing two properties, yet the FIC report indicates that multiple properties were purchased by Chitotela, several transfers made to law firms and multiple cash withdrawals made. When is the ACC going to move in on the other more serious cases and the lawyers who were laundering this money on behalf of Chitotela?
3: Was Chitotela the only beneficiary of these funds ? Where was he taking the cash after those huge cash withdrawals ? Who was he taking it to ? Does this explain why he can’t be fired ? Because there were other senior members of the government who received cuts from these deals ?
4: The ACC needs to move in on Chitotela’s wife as she is a clear beneficiary and shareholder in these shell companies that were receiving stolen funds.