AN operations manager at Atlas Mara has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that there were no suspicious transactions on the account belonging to Chishimba Kambwili’s company Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited.
Phillis Tembo told principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile that the charges facing Kambwili and his company of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime have nothing to do with Atlas Mara as it has not complained of any illegalities on the account to law enforcement agencies.
This is in a matter where Kambwili, his son Mwamba, and Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited are facing charges of possessing more than K6 million, obtaining pecuniary advantage and uttering a false document to a public officer while two Zambia Revenue Authority officials lukwesa Musonda and Mulenga Kapilima are alleged to have prepared a false document indicating that Mwamona was tax compliant when not.
Tembo, who is deployed at Longacres branch, stated that the bank’s head of human capital asked her to retrieve a bank statement for its client Mwamona in relation to the transactions that were made on the account.
She said several transactions were made on Mwamona’s dollar account amounting to US$575,000 and that Kambwili was the principal signatory to the said account.
In cross examination by Kambwili’s lawyer Keith Mweemba, Tembo confirmed that the bank is required to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre and that failure by the bank to do so amounts to a breach of the law.
When asked if Mwamona’s account is no longer active and whether it has been frozen by any law enforcement agencies, Tembo responded in the negative. She confirmed that Mwamona’s account has no fraudulent transactions and that the funds it received are from legitimate sources.
Tembo confirmed that Mwamona’s account with Atlas Mara does not appear on the indictment and the charges in question have nothing to do with the bank.
She admitted that Mwamona has not committed any illegality with Atlas Mara and that there is no evidence to show that the money is from an illegitimate source.
Tembo said she has not told the court the source of the funds and without disclosing the source of the said funds the court will never know.
And a Bank of China employess has told the court that there was nothing fraudulent on the account held by Mwamona.
Sandra Okeke, a personal assistant to the managing director, said the source of funds in Mwamona’s dollar account were legitimate.
She said Mwamona opened the dollar account in January 2016 and it was active until October 2016.
Okeke, who is also a public relations manager, said the signatories to the account were Kambwili and Yu Hao.
“There were three transactions under the account. There was an inward transaction by China Henan to Mwamona. There was another transaction from China Henan to Mwamona and another from Mwamona to Voto Engineering,” said Okeke.
Under cross examination by Mweemba, Okeke confirmed that there was no illegality in relation to the transactions on Mwamona’s account.
Asked if China Henan and Mwamona have been reported to law enforcement agencies over suspicious transactions, Okeke responded in the negative.
She said the bank system automatically detects suspicious transactions and this did not happen on Mwamona’s account.
She confirmed that no transaction on the dollar account is indicated on the indictment.
Okeke said the transactions were regular as all documents were presented.
She added that Mwamona’s account is not active because the system closed it and it can still pay a reactivation fee if it needs an account with Bank of China.
Trial continues on March 5.