3 more arrested, K55.8m traced in FDH Bank fraud


Fiscal Police in Blantyre have arrested three bank employees in connection with an alleged fraud of K55.8 million at FDH Bank.

This means the money allegedly defrauded at the bank within the past 10 months has now amounted to K110.8 million.

FDH Bank in Blantyre where the fraud is suspected to have taken place

Police investigations show that the multi-million fraud was executed in two separate operations between October 2016 and July 2017, with one of the suspects being implicated in both scams.

Malawi Police Service (MPS) head of Fiscal and Fraud Section Isaac Norman in an interview yesterday identified the three as Mphatso Njala, Ronald Madondolo and James Gwaza, all employees of FDH Bank in Blantyre.

Norman said the three worked in the bank’s Finance and Treasury Section where Njala and Gwaza were supervisors while Madondolo was a clerk.

He alleged Njala and Madondolo are also connected with the fraud of K55 million which led to the arrest of former FDH head of finance Mathias Silumbu who is now chief financial officer at NBS Bank, his house servant and two other undisclosed suspects.

The police officer further said the second scam also implicates Njala who allegedly opened other bank accounts with Gwaza where K55.8 million was separately defrauded.

Said Norman: “Our investigations so far indicate that Njala and Madondolo were [allegedly] being used by Silumbu. Later, Njala without the knowledge of Silumbu, also opened other three accounts and managed to make transfers amounting to K55.8 million.

“So, between October 2016 and July this year, FDH Bank has been defrauded a total of K110.8 million.”

He said after preparing payment vouchers, the duo would indicate real names of clients, but put the account numbers they illegally opened and “the money used to go to those bogus accounts”.

The arrest of the three now brings the number of suspects to seven after four others were picked last week.

The three have also been charged with theft by servant, fraudulent false accounting and money laundering offences contrary to Section 42 of the Financial Crimes Act.

Silumbu allegedly committed the crime before he resigned from FDH to join NBS Bank.

According to Norman, Silumbu used to deposit the loot into the bank account of his house servant (only identified as Gunda) which he would later transfer to his two other personal accounts held with different banks. n

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