Sunday, April 18, 2021

Accountant charged with over 200 counts of fraud

Following a marathon investigation conducted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) that took six years to complete, a Botswana Building Society (BBS) accountant is being charged with 232 counts of fraud.

Recently, former BBS accountant, Lyrah Malobela, appeared before a Gaborone Village magistrate Court accused of stealing P1 million.

The facts of the case allege that Malobela, whilst employed by BBS in Gaborone and responsible for reconciling cash books, handling petty cash and performing direct debits and stop orders, as from March 20th 1998 to 29th January 2004, transferred funds on several occasions amounting to P392 030, 39 to her personal savings account.

Malobela again from April 2004 to 26th September 2006 on several occasions allegedly transferred funds amounting to 571 219, 93 to an account belonging to one Osetswe Kebosietswe, who is Malobela’s maid.

She further allegedly transferred P3610 to an account belonging to one Oabamang Phukula, who is her close relative.

Details of the case have revealed that all the accounts are with BBS and the money was transferred as stop orders from other banks namely, Standard Charted, First National and Barclays Banks.

The DCEC alleges that Malobela manipulated stop order cash books and journals.

On receipt of bank statements from respective commercial banks, Malobela allegedly would then pass fraudulent journal entries by editing the respective cash.

A BBS Financial Director told The Telegraph that “the accused person was dismissed and the matter was reported”.

He said they did not recover anything and it was the first of its kind, adding that the society has increased fraud awareness amongst its employees and taken other internal measures to curb fraud.
BBS, he said, has since introduced biometric identification for its customers.

The Public Relations Officer of the DCEC, Lentlwe Motshoganetsi, told the Telegraph that “only P5 OOO was recovered”.

He defended his organization, saying that, “It is true that our investigations of some cases take time but that is the nature of the work.”

Malobela will appear before court on the 3rd of next month at which trial dates will be set.

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