Friday, December 1, 2023

Botswana seizes P230m black money in 12 months

Only 12 months since it was established, The Receiver, a department under the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security tasked with tailing proceeds of crime has  already seized close to a quarter of a billion Pula in proceeds of crime.

The black money buster has also secured a court order to trace the National Petroleum Fund money allegedly laundered by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) in collusion with a number of local fund managers.

This was confirmed by The Receiver, Bafi Nlanda a lawyer by profession who told Sunday Standard that they have seized more than P230 million black money since September 2017.

 “My office works hand in hand with the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) especially the forfeiture unit that is under DPP,” he said. Nlanda revealed that so far his office has secured about thirteen court orders which they have acted upon and more are coming.

“As I have already alluded, the office has seized a good number of properties throughout the country,” he said. “It should be noted that all the thirteen court orders are still pending before the court of law and my office has to make sure that such properties do not lose its value”.  

Nlanda also confirmed that his office is following about P118 million believed to be stashed in Israel.

“It is true that my office has been given that order to follow that alleged funds,” he said.

Procedurally DPP will seek mutual assistance and prepare paper work that will be routed through the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation and such a process takes time.

“I am optimistic that I will get that money no matter how long it takes,” he said.

Sunday Standard has been able to establish that the Directorate of Public Prosecution has tendered documents to the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation to seize the NPF money that was transferred to Israel.

The money is part of the P230 million that was transferred to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from National Petroleum Fund (NPF).

The Receiver has also established a fund that will compensate victims of crime, but so far no crime victims have benefited from the fund.

Nlanda explained that their duty as the Receiver is to follow all sorts of proceeds of crime globally and to maintain value for the property that has been seized and to accrue interests. He added that such properties that his office takes care of include immovable or movable property, money, buildings, motor vehicles, furniture, plots etc.

He stated that a fund has been established to compensate victims of crime and it is monitored by a committee that evaluates who should be compensated.

The committee comprises of six representatives from the ministry of Defense, Justice and Security; Ministry of Finance and Economic and development; Attorney General; Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) as well as the Receiver.


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