Court seizes cash, vehicles in P20m BancABC 'heist'

Kabo Motswagole
Kabo Motswagole

A former money market dealer at BancABC is accused of diverting funds from the bank’s New York account and shifting them around different accounts, earning interest and eating the principle as well, in a scheme suspected to involve P20 million.

The State alleges that starting from October 9 last year, Trevor Thomo Boiteto diverted a sum of about US$2.1 million from BancABC’s New York account, shortly after the sum had been transferred from another foreign currency account in South Africa. He then allegedly proceeded to shuffle the funds between different accounts, covering his tracks with falsified orders, before crediting accounts including Fleming Asset Management and Boldmark Engineering.

Lobatse High Court judge, Justice Reuben Lekorwe ruled that in total seven accounts holding different currencies including US dollars and Rands, should be seized. He also ruled that property, including two vehicles, involved in the suspected money laundering case be seized pending finalisation of proceedings for civil forfeiture.

The order issued on March 6, 2019 prohibits dealings of any manner with the seized items.

“It is ordered that all interested persons identified in this application and as having any property identified in this application against them, shall give such information of its where about to the receiver and such other persons as may be assisting him, that will enable recovery of the properties for the purposes of this order within 48 hours of service of this order or soon as practically and reasonable possible,” reads part of the order. DPP used the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime (PICA) to apply for the restraint and seizure of the property. According to investigators, on February 12, 2019 BancABC performed reconciliation in its treasury department where officials picked an anomaly showing that the money had been diverted after it was transferred from SA to New York. According to the investigating officer, Segokgo Morebudi, upon analysis of the transactions, it was realised that there was a transaction which effected on Oct 9, 2018 indicating that Trevor Boiteto had set down an amount of US$2 million as though it belonged to and was an order from Untu Holdings.

In subsequent transactions, Boiteto is alleged to have moved the funds around, earning interest, before ultimately paying them into a Fleming Asset Management Botswana account held at BancABC. At the time Fleming Asset Management received the US$ 2,000,694.44, investigators said its credit balance was US$668.73.

According to Morebudi, starting in October 2018, Boiteto disbursed US$200,000 to Boldmark Engineering, “disguising as if the amount was from Kgori Capital’s bank account”.

“A scrutiny of the transactions respecting this account shows that Kgori Capital was never debited with a similar dollar amount for this purpose or at all, effectively meaning there was no investment of US$200,000,” the investigating officer said in his affidavit. “Instead, the amount invested as a fixed deposit was from Fleming Asset Management account.” According to the documents filed in court, a second US$200,000 was allegedly credited to Boldmark Engineering disguised an investment by Untu Holdings. The amount in fact came from Fleming Asset Management, Morebudi said.

Another US$200,000 again went to Boldmark Engineering under the pretext that it was from Kgori Capital. Again, investigators say Fleming was the source. Between December 10 and 24, US$800,000 was paid again to Boldmark from the Fleming Asset Management account, with what investigators say was falsified accompanying records. An amount of US$64,239, which was interest on the funds when they were held in SA, was also paid to another entity, Waltord Holdings.

“Notwithstanding that Kgori Capital and Untu Holdings were said to be the ones giving instructions for fixed deposits, no instructions were given by any of these entities for fixing of the money or dealing with it anyhow.

“There were similarly no instructions given by Fleming Asset Management for either creation of fixed deposits or any payments or disbursements in respect of the money from its account,” reads Morebudi’s deposition. The investigator described Boiteto as “the kingpin and the mastermind” who created the scheme and gave all the instructions for the creation of fixed deposits and for the disbursements made in respect of the money and from all the accounts.

The accounts and property seized belong to Boldmark, Boiteto and related entities for which investigators say a trail exists to the funds diverted, usually through payments from Boldmark.

Meanwhile in an application related to the case, Boldmark Engineering director, Mooketsi Kedikilwe successfully managed to convince the court to release an amount of P500,657.25 from his frozen accounts. The director was able to prove to the court that the funds were payment for a legitimate tender he won and was performing for the South East District Council.

On March 11, Justice Lekorwe ordered First National Bank Botswana to release the funds to Kedikilwe’s attorney’s trust account. Attorney Kabo Motswagole appeared for Kedikilwe.

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