The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), through its Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit in Lusaka, has arrested and jointly-charged two Lusaka businessmen for money laundering activities involving US$39,550,000.00.

In a statement, Thursday, DEC Public Relations Officer Theresa Katongo stated that Metternich Saidi Chishimba, 49, a businessman of Chalala area in Lusaka District has been arrested and jointly-charged with Anderson Phiri, 42, a businessman of Ibex Hill for money laundering involving US $39,550,000.00, contrary to the laws of Zambia.

“Particulars of the offence are that Metternich Saidi Chishimba, on dates unknown but between 7th October, 2015, and 31st December, 2017, jointly and whilst acting together with Anderson Phiri and other persons unknown with intent to defraud, did forge contract documents purporting that the Road Development Agency (RDA) and the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) had signed a contract with Drum and Bitumen Isfahan of Iran for the supply of 100,000 metric tonnes of bitumen with a total contract value of US $39,550,000.00 when in fact not,” Katongo disclosed.

She revealed that the duo managed to obtain a total sum of US$480,000.00 as advance payment guarantee from Drum and Bitumen into their company account, which funds were used to acquire various properties for sale for their personal benefit.

According to Katongo, the Commission has since seized the properties in question from the duo for further investigations, and the suspects are on police bond and will appear in court soon.