ACB Frees Sattar’s Assets

Zuneth Sattar corruption

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Malawi has unfrozen the bank accounts and other assets of business tycoon Zuneth Sattar. The ACB says the decision was made to “give room to an out-of-court discussion” with Sattar.

The ACB had frozen Sattar’s assets for almost two years. However, the order to freeze Sattar’s bank accounts expired last month.

According to the ACB, Sattar is now free to use his assets to fulfill some statutory obligations. However, the ACB, speaking to The Nation on Sunday, said it remains desirous to preserve the money and assets in order to ensure full recovery of the money lost by the Malawi Government to the alleged corruption.

A financial crimes legal expert Jai Banda told The Nation on Sunday that the ACB’s decision suggests that the bureau’s investigation has not established any fraudulent transactions in the accounts or assets.

Without the restriction being renewed, Sattar is free to make transactions even without the out-of-court arrangement, the ACB is talking about,” Banda was quoted as saying by The Nation on Sunday today.

However, the lawyer said the lack of evidence in the accounts or assets does not mean the end of the investigations into Sattar’s suspected fraudulent dealings.

Sattar was arrested in the UK following a joint probe the ACB carried out with the National Crimes Agency. He was arrested in September 2021.

The case nearly hit a snag as Malawi offered amnesty to all people suspected of corruption to return alleged spoils of looting. The amnesty led to the freeing of Prince Kapondamgaga, the chief of staff of President Lazarus Chakwera.