Sunday, September 27, 2020

DIS, DCEC probe dozens in corrupt land deals

The Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have joined forces to investigate massive land corruption involving millions of pula and about 30 illegal land dealers

The crime busters are understood to have frozen suspected dirty money estimated at millions of Pula, believed to have changed hands under the table during the illegal land dealings.

The Sunday Standard has been informed that the pieces of land which form part of the investigation have also been confiscated by the investigating authorities and that about six land board officials are among the suspects implicated in the illegal land dealings.

The Minister of Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefi, told Sunday Standard on Friday, “Though I do not have the exact number, yes, we have suspended a good number of Landboard officials who are implicated in land corruption.”

He added, “The issue of land corruption is very worrying and I am going to take hash measures on those officials that are implicated and the law will take its course. We are not going to tolerate or entertain a habit whereby greedy people want to disadvantage other citizens from acquiring a piece of land because of their greediness and the law will thoroughly deal with them.”

Molefi said his ministry is proposing that land board officials or members be screened but that will depend on whether the cabinet will approve the proposal.

He said both the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and Directorate of Intelligence Service are currently busy investigating the matter.
Molefi warned that those who sell land that had been allocated to them will never be given land again.

He appealed to the public to forward any information that might lead to the arrest of those involved in illegal land dealings.

The public relations officer of the DCEC, Lentswe Motshoganetsi, said investigations are on-going and he therefore was not able to discuss the issue with the press.

He said some of the cases are before the magistrate’s courts, while some had been thrown out because there was insufficient evidence.

On the black market, a piece of land is said to range from P100 000 to P 600 000.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.