THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has arrested Konkola Copper Mine provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu for theft of K110.4 Million and US$250,000.
In September last year, a scandal emerged at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in which the mining giant, which the Zambian government repossessed from Vedanta Resources in 2019, had paid US$1.6 million (about K32 million) to a company allegedly bought by liquidator Milingo Lungu through his relative Dingiswayo Ndhlovu, for the supply of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).
Within the same month, a Copperbelt based businessman Joseph Chilinda told the Kabwe High Court that Milingo bought his company, Cashfin Zambia Ltd, for US$500,000 and promised to pay through a procurement tender from Konkola Copper Mines.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka, Wednesday, DEC public relations officer Mathias Kamanga said Milingo also obtained $2,200,000 by false pretences.
He said on a date between May 22, 2019 and August 15, 2021, Milingo with other persons unknown did engage in theft and money laundering.
“The Commission has concluded investigations in some of the matters pertaining the KCM Plc and has charged and arrested Mr Milingo Lungu, a male aged 43 of plot 22763, Mulungushi Road in Roma, Lusaka for obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to section 308 as read with section 309 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, Theft contrary to section 280 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, and money laundering contrary to section 7 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No 14 of 2001 as read with the Amendment Act No. 44 of 2010,” he said.
“Allegations are that Milingo Lungu, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, on dates unknown 22,2019 and August 15, 2021 did engage in theft involving K110.4 Million and USSD 250,000. It is further alleged that he obtained money by false pretenses amounting to USSD 2,200,000. He has also been charged for money laundering for the said amount. The money is said to have come from his possession by virtue of being the provisional liquidator for KCM Plc. The suspect has since been released on police bond and will appear in court soon.”
And Kamanga said six people have also been arrested from a named Mobile Network Operator.
“The Commission wishes to announce the conclusion of investigations in the case that was reported prior to the elections which involved six suspects from a Mobile Network Operator who have since been arrested for theft contrary to section 278 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia and money laundering contrary to section 7 of the prohibition and prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001 as read with the Amendment Act No. 44 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. These are Kaseele Hamanyanga, a male aged 37, Bright Kakana, a male aged 46, Jethro Mukatasha, a male aged 40, George Kambole, a male aged 42, Clarence Kauseni, a male aged 40 and George Tapula, a male aged 40. The suspects were released on police bond and will appear in court soon,” he said.
Kamanga disclosed that the Commission had was currently following up on 90 cases which had been reported before and after the elections.
“We wish to state that the Commission has received a total of 90 reports during this period of which three were received just before the elections and 87 after elections. Verifications have been instituted in all the 90 reports and the public will be updated once investigations are concluded. As stated earlier, the Commission is very grateful for all the information received from the members of the public. In this regard, we are urging the public to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act No. 4 OF 2010,” he said.
He asked the public to be patient with the Commission because the financial crimes were complex in nature as they required investigators to go through the process of following every transaction in order to establish how assets, especially money, had been moving.
“We further wish to state that financial crimes are complex in nature as they require the investigators to go through the process of following every transaction in order to establish how assets, especially money, has been moving. The Commission undertakes thorough and systematic authentication of all transactions in line with applicable laws and international standards such as the Financial Action Task Force standards. Furthermore, the Commission is also very strict in observing human rights and freedoms of persons in carrying out investigations. We also wish to inform members of the public that investigations of other matters of interest have reached an advanced stage,” said Kamanga.