Trial continues in the Ronald Chitotela corruption case with an Anti-Corruption Commission officer testifying how he discovered that $300, 000 was paid in the Housing and Infrastructure Minister’s FNB account from China Harbour.
Christopher Siwakwi, an investigative officer from the ACC narrated how the investigative wing receive an alert on the alleged trail of money the China Harbour’s Bank of China dollar account into Chitotela’s FNB account.
An ACC officer has narrated how the commission received information that Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela had property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Siwakwi told the court that on June 28, 2017 the ACC received corruption allegations against Chitotela who was accused of possession
He said the ACC also received information that Chitotela bought Farm 148/50A in Makeni and Sub Division A Lot 22163/M in Ibex Hill Lusaka.
“I received further information that the money used to purchase the said properties was suspected to be proceeds of crime. Further information was that the monies used to purchase the said properties originated from China Harbour amounting to US$300,000 whose account was domiciled at Bank of China,” he said.
Siwakwi said he served a warrant on Bank of China to inspect the said account and was presented with a bank statement for China Harbour Engineering Corporation.
“After analysing the statement, he found that on July 27, 2016, there was US$300,000 outgoing transaction to Andrew and Partners who had an account with FNB,” he said.
He said after interviewing an officer from the bank, he established that China Harbour had a dollar account with Bank of China.
Siwakwi said further investigations at FNB, provided a statement which showed that on July 27, 2016, there was an incoming transaction from China Harbour amounting to US$299,000.
“On July 28, 2016 there was an outgoing transaction of US$140,000, payment to Lungu Sim. On July 29, 2016, there was another transaction to MSK advocates amounting to US$154, 000,” Siwakwi said.
Siwakwi later established that bank instructions caused the movement of US$154,000 to MSK advocates regarding purchase of property.
He said investigations revealed that the money involved was for the buying of the Makeni property in question.
Trial continues on Friday.
Chitotela has been slapped with nine charges among them concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
He is also charged with being in possession of proceeds of crime connected to withdrawals of monies ranging from K10, 000 to K20, 000 from an account.