DCEC confirms questioning Masisi, Dada Khama’s house, caravan built by NPF monies_Ngakaagae
As skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet in the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering case, President Ian Khama, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Business mogul Satar Dada and Ministers Thapelo Olopeng and Sadique Kebonang have been implicated in the matter.
The case continued on Wednesday before the Regional Magistrate court where accused persons, Bakang Seretse, Botho Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang appeared.
In a shocking turn of events, Khama, Masisi, Dada, Olopeng and Sadique’s names came up as individuals who might have benefited immensely from the NPF’s laundered P250 million.
It was alleged in court that Masisi received a bill of P 3 million from the monies, whilst Dada through the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) received P 2 million, Olopeng allegedly received P 70 000, while Kebonang allegedly bought property in South Africa and President Khama received an undisclosed some from the same fund to facilitate the purchase of his caravan and his retirement home.
All this was revealed when the lead Investigating Officer (IO) in the case took the stand.
The IO- a Chief Anti Corruption Officer under the Investigations division- Andria German confirmed that he has interrogated Masisi and Dada in regards to the money laundering case.
He however said that he did not have enough evidence to charge the political powerhouses but admitted that there was room to add more accused persons as investigations continue.
German blurted out the information to the shocked courtroom after the defence lawyer, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae put it to him that he should confess that he has interrogated Masisi with regards to the P 3 million cheque he received.
“I can confirm that the VP has already been approached and interviewed in relation to the funds attributed to him. But I cannot go into detail about that nor can I say what the final outcome will be, but yes I have interviewed him,” confirmed the IO in the case.
The court further learnt that the BDP through the party’s Treasurer, Dada has received a lump sum share of P 2 million.
“A lot has happened that we have done. A lot of evidence has been uncovered in this case but we cannot at the moment properly lay those before court.”
The defence lawyer after a briefing from Seretse- further quizzed the IO on why Khama has not been implicated in the charges when the DCEC has information to the effect that the president has received money from the 250 million to aid with his caravan and retirement home.
Ngakaagae further said that even the Minister of Youth empowerment Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has received P 70 000 from the funds for his personal use.
In response the IO said he could not get into detail; “I have not said and will not say anything in regard to Mr Khama and Olopeng. What I can confirm is that we have interviewed and approached the VP Masisi and Dada.”
The IO further said that the defence lawyer and everyone else who has shown interest in the case should wait for the outcome of the investigations adding that the outcome- once investigations are complete- will show that no one is above the law regardless of societal stature.
Further quizzed by Ngakaagae on why the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang too has not been dragged into the case as the DCEC has uncovered some properties he purchased in South Africa with some of the money from the fund, the IO responded thus, “Yes we have trails that some of the monies were used to buy properties through an agency in South Africa. The properties belong to Kebonang. But we have not yet been able to completely tie him to the case in that regard, but yes I can confirm that.”
The DCEC also revealed that they have extended their investigations to Italy, United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa where they say the money trail has led them to and have spent the past week in South Africa and plan to jet off to Italy and the UK next month for further investigations.
The Economic Busting Agency further stated in court that they have gathered intelligence that some of the monies were transferred to offshore accounts in the three countries and were used to acquire properties particularly by accused person Seretse.
Money laundering suspect, Bakang Seretse and his alleged partners in crime, Botho Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang who were granted bail are in court for allegedly receiving over P250 million stolen from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) between September, 05, 2017 and November, 27, 2017 in Gaborone through their Investment management firm, Kgori Capital.