High court orders forfeiture of tainted monies and motor vehicles belonging to Ikulile, isungile
By Staff Reporter
THE Lusaka High Court has ordered that the colossal sums of money and motor vehicles belonging to the director and shareholder of Isungile Payment Solutions and Ikulile Initiative Enterprise Abraham Hezborn Chintu be forfeited to the State because it is tainted property with unlawful activities.
In this case, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last December asked the High Court to grant the State a forfeiture order against Chintu because the colossal sums deposited in various accounts and nine motor vehicles belonging to him and his companies were tainted property realised from unlawful activities.
The Bank of Zambia joined the proceedings as an interested party.
According to a motion that was filed in court, Chintu was taking deposits from the public without a license from the Bank of Zambia.
And High Court judge Catherine Lombe Phiri stated that upon hearing counsel for the State and also for the interested party, she ordered that all the properties be forfeited to the State in accordance with section 31 of the forfeiture of proceeds of crime Act No 19 of 2010.
Judge Phiri further ordered that in accordance with the provisions of section 31 (2) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No 19 of 2019, the properties shall be handed over to the interested party, BOZ, as the financial sector regulator and administrator of the Banking and Financial Services Act No 7 of 2017 to be paid to the depositors of Ikulile and Isungile in equal proportions, less reasonable costs of administering the payout, subject to a verification of the depositors claims and details.
The judge also ordered that each party shall bear its own costs and granted leave to appeal.
The State sued Chintu and his companies alongside Zambia Institute of Business Enterprises and Ben Ngolwe Sinyangwe.
In an affidavit by Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) investigations officer Artwell Hachunde, the Commission had submitted that on January 4, 2016, it received information from BOZ that Isungile Payment Solutions (IPS) and Ikulile Initiative Enterprise Limited had been taking deposits from the public without a licence from BOZ and that a search at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) revealed that Chintu was the majority shareholder in Ikulile Initiative Enterprise Limited with 4,950 shares while 50 shares were held by his son Norton Chintu.
Hachunde stated that a search also revealed that Chintu was the sole proprietor of Isungile Payment Solutions.
He stated that during investigations, he discovered that members of the public were signing agreements with Ikulile Initiative where the public deposited various amounts of money into Ikulile Initiative Enterprise and that there were three agreements signed by Mazunzo Daka, Nebert Mulenga and Fred Mulemfwe Musonda who deposited K20,000, K50,000 and K50,000.
The applicant stated that he recorded statements from several members of the public who deposited money into Ikulile Initiative Enterprise.
He stated that 284 people deposited money in Ikulile Initiative Enterprise Limited bank account amounting to K8,051,000 between December 2015 and September, 2016 while 143 people deposited money in Isungile Payment Solutions bank account amounting to K2, 227,380 between April 2015 and October 2016.
Hachunde stated that he interviewed and recorded statements from several members of the public and obtained copies of contracts that they signed with the Isungile Payments Solutions.
He stated that Chintu had no licence to receive deposits from members of the public and, or conduct any form of banking or financial services.
Hachunde stated that efforts to interview Chintu proved futile as he deliberately ignored calls to report to DEC for recording of a statement and his whereabouts are unknown after he relocated from his previous residence.
He stated that he seized money in bank accounts relating to Chintu and the companies where he was a shareholder and director as the same have been cited as tainted property for which the DPP is seeking a forfeiture order.
Hachunde stated that the financial investigations into the matter made him discover that Chintu laundered the monies and profits that he got from his businesses which infringed section 17 of the Banking and Financial Services Act by purchasing motor vehicles cited in the case.
He stated that he seized the vehicles because they were purchased using proceeds obtained from a business which was being illegally operated and also seized investments by Ikulile and Isungile held at Focus Capital Limited which investments totalled K120,000.
All the monies and motor vehicles have been forfeited to the State.