Investigations cross into SA
*There is no information to hide or destroy
The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has unearthed fresh evidence linking disgraced businessman, Bakang Seretse to a whopping P60million misappropriated from the National Petroleum Fund.
The latest figure does not include the initial P230m illegal transaction that landed Seretse and his co-accused, Kenneth Kerekang before the courts.
This week, Seretse was given 48 hours to vacate his house at the upmarket surburb of Extension 11, a move that angered his Attorney, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae, who in a public outburst accused the DCEC of riding on Judge Omphemetse Motumise’s court order that placed Seretse’s properties under restraint to search his client’s house with the hope of finding, seizing and destroying any information that may implicate certain high profile individuals linked to the case that the lawyer has threatened to expose at he right time.
However, DCEC Spokesperson, Lentswe Motshoganetsi dismissed Ngakaagae’s claims as a mere ‘survivors strategy.’ “We long served them with the order last Wednesday but they did not comply with it hence our decision to step up.”
Further refuting Ngakaagae’s claims that the P6.5 million extension 11 house had nothing to do with NPF funds as it was “bought with a loan from Bank Gaborone,’ Motshoganetsi said that their investigations have revealed that indeed Seretse bought that particular house through a bank mortgage at or around P3.5m. “But immediately after buying it, the accused person demolished it and re-built it at a cost of over P5m. He then put in fittings worth P2.5m and that is why we are taking the property because it is part of those that were bought through ill gotten wealth.”
Meanwhile a source close to the investigating team has revealed that the DCEC have traced and linked four more houses in South Africa to Seretse and NPF proceeds.
“Even if those four houses in South Africa do not all belong to Seretse, there is paper trail that shows that they were bought through NPF funds,” said the source.
“And we are definitely coming for them! Emphasized the source
Although the DCEC could not officially confirm the claims concerning SA houses, the spokesperson said that the corruption-busting agency does have a mutual legal assistance agreement with the South African authorities that will keep the said properties under restraint. “If we win the case we will sell them and take the money into state coffers but if we fail then we will simply return them,” Motshoganetsi said
The seizing of properties is done under civil cases through Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA), which gives DCEC the power to put goods suspected to have been bought through proceeds of crime under restraint.
“One does not need to be proven guilty, what we need is property under question but because they were not cooperating, we find ourselves where we are,” explained Motshoganetsi, adding that their investigations were still ongoing because properties found do not add up to a total of the missing funds. “There is no information to hide, we are rooting out corruption and will be coming to everyone linked, to the NPF looting,” he warned.