Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Defense lawyers seek audited reports in P4 m fraud case

Francistown Magistrate Goodwill Makofi postponed the infamous Francistown case involving three men who allegedly defrauded Panda Group of Companies of up to P4 million.

This came after defense attorneys in the matter, Moabi Madandume and Wada Nfila pleaded with the prosecution to furnish them with audit documents to find out if proper procedures were followed in charging the accused men.

“We are still waiting for the prosecution to furnish us with the audit reports before we can continue with the case,” said Moabi Madandume, who is representing first accused.

The three accused men, Tiro Gaylards Masimege, Mothusi Jowawa and Thuso Moloi are facing 61 counts of stealing by servant and false pretence a sum amounting to P4 million from Panda Group of Companies, a company that deals in building materials in Francistown.

The charge sheet before court reveals that between June 2008 and October 2010, the trio connived together in selling the products of the company on the pretence that the money was being paid to Panda Group of Companies account.

It is alleged Masimege, who is the first accused and also a former employee of Panda Group companies who worked as a credit controller, was the master mind behind the fraud. The facts from prosecution state that the accused fraudulently obtained building materials from the company and sold them to different companies in connection with the other two accused. He is also alleged to have at one point deactivated Bakgoni Building Construction’s account, a company which once had a credit account with Panda Group of Companies, increased its limits and the unsuspecting clients paid the money into the account.

The facts further reveal that the first accused deactivated various other former clients’ accounts into which cheques and cash were paid.

Some of the money was handled by two other accused, Jowawa and Moloi.

The state is represented by Antoinette Kula, the Assistant Director of Public Prosecution in Francistown, while the first accused is represented by Moabi Mandume and the third accused represented by Wada Nfila.

The second accused is not represented and the three men are all on bail.
The trial dates are yet to be set after the defense is served with audit documents.

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