THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court will on March 11 rule on whether the case in which a couple is accused of concealing and being in possession of 51 houses should be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court.
This is a matter in which Charles Loyana, 51, a senior accountant at the Ministry of Finance and his wife Susan Loyana, 46, an accountant at the Ministry of Works and Supply, are facing two counts of corrupt practices involving concealment and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The two however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In the first count, the duo, of Chalala area in Lusaka is charged with one count of concealment of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
In the second count, the two are charged with one count of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
It is alleged that on dates unknown but between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2019, Loyana and his wife jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, did conceal and possess 51 properties valued at K37,916,000.00, properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The said properties are located in Lusaka’s Chalala area.
When the matter came up before Magistrate Judy Chiyaika, the State asked the court to transfer the case from her court to the newly created Economic and Financial Crimes Court.
However, defence lawyer, Mutakela Lisimba opposed to the application.
He argued that the matter should not be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court because it was allocated to the Magistrates’ Court before the new court was created.
Magistrate Chiyaika reserved ruling on the matter to March 11.