Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded a probe into suspected money laundering acts at Salima Sugar Company Limited.
The organization has since written the Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry, led by its chairperson, Paul Nkhoma, to carry out the investigation.
CDEDI Executive Director Silvester Namiwa said allegations of money laundering are disheartening considering that neither government nor cane growers in Chikwawa, Salima and Nkhota-Kota are benefiting from the sugar industry known for its huge profits year in year out.
Namiwa said it was the expectation of Malawians that the competition Salima Sugar Company had brought on the sugar market would serve the common good yet Malawians continue to be subjected to exorbitant sugar prices.
He further said that Malawians are yet to reap the fruits of the good intention that led to the establishment of the private entity, with public stakes through the Greenbelt Authority.
recent forensic report on Equity Contribution, Loan Capital and Utilization. Precisely, page 27, being a summary of the source of MK3.741 billion AUM SAL equity contribution that was meant to be paid in United States Dollars (US$D).
These transactions were made as follows;
1. Pacific Limited loan amounting to MK1.8 billion on September 21, 2021.
2. Mount Meru Millers Ltd MK1 billion on October 18, 2021
3. Mphoto Enterprises MK600, 000 on September 1, 2022
4. Rajash Salien (R Mart) MK25 million on September 8, 2022
5. R Mart Investments MK75 million on September 8, 2022
Also as a public entity, Malawians have a right to know the unknown persons who gave out MK191 million to the Salima Sugar former Chairman Sherieesh Betigiri. According to the leaked audit report, the above transactions done without collateral and the said entities are not registered as financial lending institutions. This provides reasonable grounds to suspect acts of money laundering and in a worst case scenario, what can stop someone to think that some of the funds are proceeds for crime given that such huge sums of money were carried as cash?
In view of the above, and in line with the Access to Information Act (ATI), CIDED gave the parliamentary committee to probe the suspected money laundering acts or face unspecified action.