Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has recently cracked an alleged criminal syndicate reportedly operated by five Maun Sub Land Board officers in the tourism town.
The five Maun Sub Land Board officers including a senior most officer were recently nabbed by the DCEC investigators on allegations of fraud and corruption.
The alleged syndicate reportedly deals in illegal land allocation and production of fraudulent certificates of customary land grant, an insider at the Tawana Land Board, revealed this week.
Land Board documents leaked to Mmegi also show that the five officers being investigated include the Maun Sub Land Board chairperson, land registration officer, technical officer and two Tirelo Sechaba interns. Their names are withheld because they are yet to appear before a court of law.
Information passed to Mmegi alleges that the officers have so far sold about 40 plots with an estimated value of over P500, 000. Insiders have suggested that the number of sold plots and their value could rise following the officers’ recent arrest on allegations of fraud and corruption in relation to land allocation within Maun and its environs.
Maun Sub Land Board secretary, Nnato Sebodge confirmed this week that five officers who served under him have been questioned by the DCEC investigators on issues relating to their work.
“There is an investigation going on this side but I have nothing that I can share really, safe to say that the DCEC are investigating some of the reports sent to their (DCEC) office pertaining to the work of some officers who work here,” Sebodge told Mmegi.
The DCEC public relations officer, Lentswe Motshoganetsi is aware of the ongoing land investigations undertaken by their Maun office.
“I can confirm that indeed the DCEC office in Maun is working on a corruption matter regarding the said department and have called in some officers for questioning,” Motshoganetsi said in response to Mmegi enquiries. He however, indicated that since the investigation is still freshly ongoing, he can’t divulge more information.
“Also note that we only call for suspension of an officer only if his or her presence in office hinders or impedes the investigations. Otherwise, public officers continue to work until the matter is brought to court that’s when suspension is done normally using the Public Service Act,” Motshoganetsi said responding to Mmegi enquires as to whether the said officers were still at work or suspended.
He added that the authority or leadership of a department or ministry also have powers to suspend or institute ad administrative course on an employee.
It was further explained that since the matter is still fresh, once completed, the officers may be charged with criminal offences under the corruption and economic crime Act.