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M50m suspects nabbed


…property is seized

Mohloai Mpesi

At least the sum amounting to M834 1640 has been seized by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO)’s Assets Recovery Unit in connection with the M50million pilfering at the Ministry of Finance. 

A ruling from the High Court of Lesotho by Justice Fumane Khabo ruled that the eight suspects embroiled in the looting of M50million at the ministry should have their assets detained until the DCEO has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the assets are proceeds of crime.   

It is at least six bank accounts held at the Lesotho Standard Bank, Boliba Savings and Credit, Nedbank Lesotho and First National Bank that have been frozen including the account of the top lawyer, Rethabile Setlojoane. The seized assets also include cars, land and mobile phones.

“It is hereby ordered that dispensation with the ordinary Rules pertaining to the modes and periods of service in this matter. An order granted in terms of section 88 (2) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act. 4 of 2008 (MLPCA) preserving M200 000 held at Boliba Savings and Credit account number 1106552411 belonging to Ntseliseng Lawrence.

“In terms of section 88 (2) of the MLPCA and subject to the provision of the order, all persons with knowledge thereof are prohibited from disposing of, further encumbering, dissipating, interfering with, attaching or selling in execution, diminishing the value of or dealing in any other manner with the movable and immovable property to which this order relates,” the order reads.

“The moveable property shall remain under the effective control of Investigating Officer D/Sgnt Khobotlo of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service and the funds shall remain under custody and the effective control of the banks to wit, Boliba Savings and Credit, First National Bank and Standard Lesotho Bank until the expiration of this order in terms of section 90 of the MLPCA until conclusion of the forfeiture Application.

“The applicant shall in terms of section 89 of the MLPCA, as soon as practicable after the making of the Preservation Order, cause a notice of this order including annexure A hereto, to be published in the government Gazzete,” the order reads.

The amount of M79, 086, 40 held at Standard Lesotho Bank account number 9080000741090 belonging to Rethabile Setlojoane and M100 000.00 held at Standard Lesotho Bank account number 90800001267678 belonging to Plexus Suppliers as well as M50 000.00 held at Nedbank Lesotho account number 12990142325 belonging to Thabo Matlali were frozen.

M43 000.00 held at Standard Lesotho Bank account number 9080000699876 belonging to Montessori International School, M40 000. 00 held at First National Bank 62794744485 belonging to Mojalefa Rafono and a Hyundai Station Wagon (magnetic force) Engine no. D4HEMH7538843 belonging to Ntseliseng Lawrence were also seized.

The anticorruption unit also apprehended a 2010 Black VW Polo Engine number CGG-23873 belonging to Maatang Mokuena, 2004 White Honda Elysio, Chasis number CHS: RR-1008407, Engine no. K24A-6009576 belonging to Tokelo Selala, 2006 White Honda Elysion Engine no. K24A-6115350 belonging to Chejane Selate and a Charcoal 2011 A7Audi Quadro S Line Engine no. CYW021877 Chasis no. WAUZZ4G5CN042676 belonging to Lehlohonolo Selate as well as White A3 Audi Engine no. CAX255231 belonging to Bokang Manaka.

The apprehension further included an Ipad 32G s/n DMPF22NUQ1GC, OPPO mobile phone s/n 0ZSSDM06AAAIEEMJ belonging to Mookho Rafono. Immovable Property Lease number 1129-1082 situated at Thetsane belonging to Bokang Manaka.

Khabo’s ruling continued that the applicant shall cause notice of the preservation order together with the copies of the papers used in support of the application, to be served by the sheriff on; Boliba Savings and Credit, Standard Lesotho Bank, First National Bank, Montessori International School Maseru West.  It was further stated that Lehlohonolo Selate of Matsoatlareng is currently detained in the Lesotho Correctional Services awaiting trial.

“Ntseliseng Lawrence of Khubetsoana, Mookho Rafono and Mojalefa Rafono of Khubetsoana, Maattang Mokuena of Ketane Mohale’s Hoek currently employed at Lesotho Defence Force, Tokelo Selala of Maseru, Chejane Selate of Teyateyaneng, Rethabile Setlojoane of Masowe, Bokang Manaka of Mohalalitoe, Thabo Matlali Director of TM Property (Pty) Ltd of Ha Foso and Lesotho Administration Authority (LAA) and any other person who becomes known to the applicant as having interest in the property,” the order reads.

“Any person who has an interest in the property and who intends to oppose the application for an order forfeiting the property to the State or to apply for an order excluding his or her interest from the forfeiture order in respect of the property.

“Must enter an appearance giving of such an intention in terms of section 89 (3) of the MLPCA. An appearance must be delivered to the applicant in the case of the person upon whom service is effected in under this order, within 14 days as specified in section 89 (4) of the MLPCA after such service and in the case of any other person, within 14 days after the date upon which notice of this order is published in terms of paragraph 4 supra,” the order reads.

The order continued that, “An appearance in terms of section 89 (5) of the MLPCA include full particulars of the address chosen for the delivery of documents concerning further proceedings in this matter, and must be accompanied by an affidavit setting out full particulars of the opposing party’s identity, the nature and extent of his or her interest in the property concerned.”

“The basis of the defence upon which he or she intends to rely on in opposing the forfeiture order in seeking to have his interest excluded from the operation of the forfeiture order, and whether he or she admits or denies that the property concerned is the proceeds or instrumentality of unlawful activities and the basis for such defence, and if he or she intends to applying for the exclusion of his or her interests from the operation of the forfeiture order, the basis for such an application,” the order reads.

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