Malawi: Chunara Charged With Fraud, Money Laundering, Granted Court Bail - Malawi Cement-Gate

(file photo).

Lilongwe senior resident magistrate Florence Msekandiana has granted bail to businessperson Shaffe Chunara, owner of Prestige Imports and Exports, who was arrested last Monday in connection with the importation of Cement worth K5 billion (about $7 million) duty free using former president Peter Mutharika's tax-free status.

The court has since formally charged him with two counts of Fraud and Money Laundering.

Chunara was arrested by Fiscal Police for the cement saga after police earlier arrested Norman Chisale, aide to former president Peter Mutharika.

Chisale was also charged with fraud and money laundering.

Lawyer Powel Nkhutabasa said considering that Chunara's co-accused person Chisale was granted bail on the cement importation matter, it was fair to also release his client.

The court has since released Chunara on a K10 million bail bond and also imposed a condition that he surrenders two sureties worth K50 million each.

The cement was allegedly imported from Zambia and Zimbabwe and is suspected to have entered the country using the duty free status that presidents enjoy to import goods for personal use.

The court has adjourned to August 26 when the accused person will appear for full hearing.

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