Sunday, May 16, 2021

Inside the murky world of DCEC dockets trade

Trade in stolen Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigation dockets is becoming a lucrative business and investigators are being tempted to sell records of their investigations to buyers who are willing to pay the right price ÔÇô Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.

The murky business deals first came to light when a number of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big shots tried to bribe a DCEC official to steal Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services Director General, Isaac Kgosi’s docket. DCEC managed to foil the deal and launched an investigation against the BDP quartet.

Details of how DCEC dockets may be bought and sold where however revealed this week when the wife to Lethebe Maine, former Ombudsman was charged with corrupting a public officer at DCEC into handing her an investigation docket containing incriminating evidence against her.

According to the charge sheet contrary to section 25(2) as read with section 36 of the corruption and Economic Crime Act (CAP 08:05), the accused person Maine, on or about the 8th of June 2013 at or near Mogoditshane, in the Kweneng Administrative District of the Republic of Botswana, corrupted a public officer namely Philip Moeng by giving the said Philip Moeng P25 000-00 as a reward for availing to the accused Magdeline Motshwane Maine a docket which contained incriminating evidence against the accused, which docket the said Philip Moeng was concerned in his capacity as a public officer at the time working for DCEC.

It is understood that a number of cases involving alleged trade in DCEC dockets are currently at different stages of investigations. In one of the cases a high ranking DCEC officer and his junior were suspended for allegedly taking bribes from a well known Maun businessman they were investigating for corruption.

At some stage, the DCEC Director General, Rose Seretse was asked to appear at the Maun Magistrates court to explain, amongst other things, whether the DCEC was investigating information which came up showing that there was payment of money to a DCEC officer by one of the state witnesses in the corruption case against a Maun lawyer and his client. 

Seretse sent a senior officer in the DCEC, Ugen Wasetso who told the Magistrate that investigations against the DCEC officer were administration investigations that had nothing to do with the corruption case against the two accused persons.

A source at DCEC explained that corruption suspects with money bribed officers for dockets to have an idea of what the DCEC had unearthed against them.

“Peeping into dockets simply means the accused person is interfering with the investigations against themselves. They are able to access information about their cases before cases are brought before the courts of law,” said a source.

She added that “by doing so it gives them a sense of what the investigations are all about and what has been earthed by the investigations. After doing so they feed their lawyers with the information, the lawyer then prepare to counter the investigations. That is why in most cases lawyers are present when the peeping into documents is done.”

DCEC Public Relation Officer Nlayidzi Gambule said, “We have system in place at DCEC; we have teams that monitor issues of bribery. Normally a team of people deal with one case that makes it hard for an individual to steal or leak dockets to suspects.”

He further stated that though they have a system in place, it is never 100 percent, “But it can never be 100% for a human being, a human being will always find ways to manipulate the system put in place. As the DCEC we are trying to make sure that issues of bribery are at utmost minimal. We have lifestyle audit for every public officer working for the DCEC.”

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