Stanbic Bank and Office of the President would not comment this week on reports that Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi showed up with more than four million Euros in cash and tried to deposit it at the bank. Stanbic Bank Botswana Managing Director, Leina Gabarane was allegedly called in by a shocked bank teller after Kgosi showed up with the Euros equivalent of about P50 million in wads of cash and tried to deposit the money with Stanbic Bank raising the money laundering red flag.
Gabarane told Sunday Standard last week that he could “neither deny nor confirm the allegations.” Sunday Standard was informed that Gabarane called one of President Ian Khama’s confidantes to inquire about the huge cash deposit after Kgosi allegedly claimed that he had been sent by the president. President Khama’s confidante who cannot be named because he is in the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) list of witnesses in the investigations against Kgosi would also not comment on the allegations, insisting that the Sunday Standard should first avail to him the High Court order and any document related to the incident to ensure that he does not fall foul of the law. The court order has barred the Sunday Standard from naming witnesses in the corruption investigation against Isaac Kgosi and from quoting them verbatim. The Sunday Standard is informed that President Khama’s confidante who cannot be named called back the Stanbic Managing Director a while later and informed him that the President did not know anything about the cash wads which were allegedly stashed at the back of Kgosi’s Toyota Fortuner.
Office of the President spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay confirmed last week that he had received a Sunday Standardquestionnaire on the issue and promised to respond early this week. “Received, I do not expect a response of any sort until early next week”, stated an e mail response from Ramsay dated 11th July 2014.
Pressed for an answer on Friday 18th July, Ramsay told Sunday Standard that he was not the appropriate person to respond to the questions and that he had since sent the questionnaire to President Khama’s Private Secretary. The President’s Private Secretary, had however, not responded at the time of going to press. Sunday Standard could not establish where the huge cash stack that triggered the bank money laundering red flag came from. The process of depositing laundered money in banks is called placement and can be accomplished in several ways. The simplest method is to add the currency to the revenues of a cash-intensive business. But another way is to move the currency offshore. Although some nations and islands have reputations as havens, having money in nearly any foreign country greatly complicates tracing it. And that’s exactly what the money launderer wants. The DCEC was allegedly called in after Kgosi left the bank with the money and tried to mount a sting operation with the assistance of Stanbic bank. The bank allegedly called Kgosi and informed him that they were ready to take his huge deposit, but Kgosi did not show up. Sunday Standard investigation reveal that a briefcase full of cash wads has become something of a norm in DISS business dealings.
Even suppliers are at times paid hundreds of thousands in cash in an apparent maneuver to circumvent the government accounting processes. In one confirmed case, Kgosi received close million pula in cash and on several occasions he had hundreds of thousands of pula in cash deposited into his personal bank account with Barclays Bank. The DISS has a Special Cash Funds running into millions of Pula which is not accounted for and have used it to operate a large grey sphere of business transactions which does not conform to the government enclave’s business norms. Some insiders estimate that up to 20% of all DISS transactions are “grey” and a DISS supplier with a suitcase of bills is a very regular phenomenon. Sources claim that the grey business deals may be used to launder money stolen from the Special Cash Fund.