K20 billion theft: Suspects granted bail

K20 billion theft: Suspects granted bail

Four suspects accused of stealing K20 billion at Malawi Leaf Company have been granted bail in Lilongwe.

The four appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa of Lilongwe registry where they were granted bail.

The suspects are former chief executive officer of Auction Holdings Limited (AHL), Evans Matabwa, former General Manager of Malawi Leaf Company, Jimmy Kasamale, former Financial Controller at Malawi Leaf, Francis Madona, and businessperson Arthur Madikhula who owns Master Freight Shipping Company, Mauzi Contractors and Global Tobacco Company.

They have been told produce cash bail bond of K5 million each and two sureties each with cash bond of K2 million.

The court has also ordered the four suspects to surrender travel documents, report to Police once every fortnight and cooperate with the State during investigation processes.

However, the suspects will remain in custody until Monday next week when their sureties are expected to be examined by the court.

Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said yesterday that the four were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion that they conspired and stole over K20 billion company money between 2012 and 2017.

Malawi Leaf Company is a subsidiary of Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) which has been struggling financially for over a year.

Last year, AHL failed to pay workers from September to December and only managed to do so a after a K6 billion government bailout in January.