Sunday, September 20, 2020

DCEC taking gov’t officials to court over illegal land sales

Following the completion of investigations conducted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), some government officials are expected to appear before the court this week.

The DCEC was investigating a land syndicate scam that rocked the City of Francistown a few years ago and a dozen suspects are to be arraigned before the Francistown Magistrate Court this week. .
The Sunday Standard is informed that a dozen of people, including some government officials as well as the legal advisor from the Ministry of Lands and Housing, will be dragged to court.

The DCEC has seized over P3 million in cash that was deposited in some commercial banks and which is considered to be part of the proceeds acquired through the illegal sale of plots in Francistown.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard, the Public Relations Officer of the DCEC, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said, “Sometime around 2007, the DCEC launched investigations in Francistown. Those investigations are now complete and the docket has been handed to the DPP for prosecution.”

Motshoganetsi said during the investigations, it emerged that about 35 plots were involved, with over P3 million paid to the alleged suspects.

“I am not in a position to say whether the money that was paid to the suspects could have been seized by the banks or not,” he said, adding that the highest bid for a plot was half a million.
He expressed the DCEC’s concern over the increasing number of corruption cases.
Meanwhile, Motshoganetsi warned the public to be wary of people who go around with fraudulent papers, selling land they claim to own in Gaborone.

He said after a tip off from the public, two suspects, a man and a woman, were arrested by the DCEC agents last week.

The alleged suspects, he said, nearly defrauded an Indian man of about P500 000.
Lands and Housing Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, confirmed that his ministry had interdicted at least 5 of its employees based in Francistown.

He said among the interdicted officers is a legal advisor who works for the Department of Lands in Francistown.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.