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Malawian with $250 000 in boot, gets 9yrs'

05 November 2014, 09:13

Blantyre - A civil servant in Malawi who stashed more than a quarter of a million dollars in the boot of his car, has been sentenced to nine years in jail, court officials said on Tuesday.

Victor Sithole, a 28-year-old accounts assistant, was convicted of money laundering, illegal possession of foreign currency and possessing stolen government property.

Police recovered around $275 000 of cash denominated in Malawian kwacha, US dollars and South African rand from his vehicle.

Sithole is the second person to be convicted in Malawi's $30m "Cashgate" scandal.

Around 70 civil servants, business people and politicians have been implicated in the scam, which syphoned state funds into private bank accounts.

The scandal helped push president Joyce Banda from office and prompted foreign donors to pull the plug on much-needed aid.

The pilfering of public money is said to have taken place in as little as six months, from April to September 2013, during Banda's term in office.

Banda fired her entire cabinet in the wake of the scam, which she blamed on "loopholes" in the public payment system introduced by her predecessor.

But that was not enough to stop Peter Mutharika winning a May general election.



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