Bakang loses bid to regain assets, P82m


Troubled entrepreneur, Bakang Seretse has lost his multi-million pula assets and P82m to the state after the Gaborone High Court ruled that the properties were proceeds of crime.

Seretse, who has been battling money laundering, corruption and cheating the public charges after he was fingered as the mastermind in the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) financial scandal, had his assets held by the Office of the Receiver on behalf of the state.

His 27 seized assets, which include high valued residential plots, top of the range vehicles, have been held under a restraint order obtained by the state while it awaited the conclusion of the state forfeiture case launched in terms of the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA).

Whilst in 2020, Lobatse High Court judge Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe had ordered for the return of his assets, Seretse's fortunes turned earlier this month when another court decided that he should forfeit the properties as they were obtained through proceeds of crime.

In a judgement dated September 10, 2021, delivered in Gaborone by Justice Omphemetse Motumise, the court found that the public revenue was cheated by the fraudulent actions of Seretse and former director of the Department of Energy in the then Ministry of Minerals and Waters Resources, Kenneth Kerekang.

The duo acted fraudulently in diverting funds from the NPF for private gain instead of purchasing oil stocks for Botswana Oil, according to the avowed purpose for which the funds were assigned.

“The confiscation offence of money laundering was committed contrary to Section 47 of PICA by Seretse and Basis Points by using the NPF funds to purchase the respondents for themselves and related companies and individuals,” read Motumise’s judgement in part.

In its decision, the court excluded the interest of Bank Gaborone from restraint and forfeiture in respect of a certain plot, which was under bond on the condition that the bank shall be paid first from the sale of the said plot.

The court also ordered the removal from the restraint of Mercedes Benz No. B291 BEX, which it found that is not part of the proceeds of crime.

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