Friday, October 2, 2020

Inside how Marsland and Okaile plundered BPOPF

A final report by former statutory manager of Capital Management Botswana (CMB) Peter Collins marked ‘confidential’ details how the company’s directors Rapula Okaile and Tim Marsland siphoned millions of Pula from pensioners’ money to finance their personal assets.

Collins who was probing the trail of Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) missing millions  found  that  CMB only ‘reimbursed’ the former P50 million out of more than P470 million the organisation had invested.

CMB, together with BPOPF were in partnership through an investment vehicle called Botswana Opportunities Partnership (BOP). CMB was the fund manager. Marsland and Okaile were directors of CMBF1.

Collins who described the alleged shady deals by Marsland as “criminal activity of the most egregious kind” also found that “My lasting impression is that the Gaborone office of CMB acts as a front for a commercial office.”

“The primary business of determining and directing client investments was administered and operated by Marsland,” said Collins.

The former judge added that “All operational activity is controlled by Marsland from Johannesburg and the online for CMB, to which I had access, is devoid of any material elating to investment assets, whether for BOP, Bona Life or anyone else.”

“A reckless looting of client assets by those engaged in the CMB group cannot (sic) is anathema to any though of remedial action.(CMB) had a single source of income-from its management of BOP-and that relationship is either in dispute or has been terminated,” he said.

He said “CMB and CMB F1 are so interrelated that I consider them as a single operating entity. A simple analysis of the flows of funds through the CMBF1 bank account reflect that far more money was paid out of the bank account that could reasonably be expected to have accrued to it in terms of fees or revenues.”

He said payments from the CMBF1 bank accounts were made to related parties or are otherwise unknown.

“I have seen no documentation in respect of these payments. I’m unable to say whether the payments were in furtherance of contractual obligation. If they were, I have not seen the contracts. In respect of payments to ‘consultants’ (real or imaginary) there has been no compliance with tax law. Only Marsland holds the key to the reasons for all payments,” said Collins.

 The report states that on 2 November 2017, the CMB operating account was credited with P50 million. This was transferred from the CMBF1 bank account.

On 24 November 2017 that sum was transferred from the CMB account with the legend “Bpopf settle.”

“Without debt, this was the payment made by EFT (electronic fund transfer) to BPOPF’s bank account to purportedly remove the latter as Limited Partner in BOP. I will not enter into that fracas but I may surely be permitted to observe that it was the balance of unspent African graduate Institute of Leadership and Enterprises (Agile) and Kawena inward funds from BOP drawdowns which provided the cash to make payment,” said Collins.

He added that “This means that the BOP funds (contributed by BPOPF) were used to remove BPOPF from BOP.”

CMB had on 22 June 2016 already sent a drawdown notice to BPOPF for P50 million “to underwrite the establishment of African graduate Institute of Leadership and Enterprises (AGILE) with a view of acquiring 75% of AGILE. Kawena was also one of the companies that CMB has invested in.

The report listed a number of companies owned by Okaile and Marsland through which they allegedly diverted millions of pensioners’ funds for their personal assets as well as lining their pockets. 

LMJ Consulting

The report says LMJ Consulting “is a South African company controlled by Scott Mclntyre and the invoices are made out to Capital Management Botswana (Pty) Limited in respect of “professional consulting.”

The payments were allegedly in respect of diverse services such as ‘soil analysis” and “geminas” and a sub-contractor-Eager Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

“One example seen is an invoice from Eager Consulting to LMJ consulting for the “supply of consulting services for the establishment of the chrome squad services business development plan, Leboste Clay Works, any other development projects identified from time to time,”” reads the report.

According to the report, “This is for the sum of R120, 000 for the month of April. Another invoice was issued for the month of June 2017. In total, amounts of P9, 653,821 were paid to LMJ consulting and there is nothing to show as quid pro quo.”

Emsite (Pty) Ltd

The report shows that Marsland is sole shareholder of a company named Emsite (Pty) Ltd. Emsite was paid P4 million on 6 February  2017 in respect of “professional services rendered being Advisory, introductory and quantity surveyor services with respect to Manor Squad Services (Pty Ltd.

Tunosat (Pty) Ltd

According to the report, Okaile is a director of Tunosast. This company was paid P4 million on 25th November 2017 from CMBF1.

“No supporting documents were seen. It was also paid P2000, 000 from CMB operational bank account on 22 December 2017. I suspect diversion of funds from CMB/CMBF1 without transactional value passing hands between payer/payee in order to enrich the controlling mind of Tunosast(apparently Marsland or Okaile),” states Collins in his report.

T Marsland

The report shows that P6 million was paid from CMB1 account to Marsland while on 12 April 2017, the sum of P1, 728,242 was paid from CMB1 account to Marsland on June 2017. Collins said there are no supporting documents for this transaction. 

R Okaile

The report shows that Okaile was paid P2,7 million from CMBF1 account on 20 April 2017, P5 million on 17 May 2017, P2 million on 28 September 2017. Collins found no supporting documents for this transaction.

Varsity League (Pty) Ltd for

The report says “Varsity League whose controlling mind is Moitseki “Checks” Lekalake was paid a total of P3, 0210,000.00 from CMB1.”

Collins said Lekalake explained to him that all other payments were in respect of various consultancy engagements and the purchase of foreign currency in cash for Marsland.

“ I regret that I had difficulty following his explanation. He however informed me that everything was documented by way of invoices and undertook to provide copies. These never materialised,” said Collins.

CMA

Marsland is the sole director of CMA. The report shows that on 25 July 2017, an amount of P6 million was paid from CMBF1 account to CMA. On 22 September 2017 another amount of P6 million was paid from CMBF1 account to CMA while on 2nd February 2018, an amount of P10 million was paid from CMBF1 to CMA account. Still the report states there were no supporting documents.

Fleming Asset Management Botswana

There were a number of payments from CMBF1 in respect of the acquisition of the shares of the controlling shareholders of Fleming Asset Management Botswana (Pty) Ltd (FAMB) by CMA.

The report says “As it was CMA (Marsland’s 100% SPV-special purpose vehicle) which purchased all the shares in FAMB, there is no explanation for these debits from CMB1.”

Collins said “I have not seen them matched by short-term loan accounts for CMA borrowing from CMBF1. It again points to the fact that Marsland contemptuously used any credit balance in the CMBF1 bank account to fund his own personal asset and base regardless of any commercial interests and obligations. This is criminal activity of the most egregious kind.”

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