The Drug Enforcement Commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit has apprehended Bertha Njamba, a 39-year-old businesswoman, for attempting to defraud the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) of 751 metric tonnes of maize valued at K3,004,000.
Njamba, a Director/Shareholder in Imaber General Trading Limited, has been charged with Attempting to Obtain Goods by False Pretences, as per Section 390 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia. The Commission’s investigations revealed that Njamba, in collaboration with unknown individuals, fraudulently attempted to obtain maize from the FRA Mbala Depot by falsely claiming that the FRA had issued the maize to several clients without the authority of Imaber General Trading. However, it was discovered that the company had already received payment from the said clients for the maize and had authorized its release by the FRA.
Additionally, Bertha Njamba has been charged with Obtaining Money by False Pretences and Money Laundering, as per Section 309 of the Penal Code and Section 7 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001, amended by Act No. 44 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia. It is alleged that between March 1 and December 31, 2022, she obtained K499,840 from multiple individuals by falsely promising to supply them with maize from the Food Reserve Agency, which she did not deliver. She was also involved in money laundering activities with the proceeds of the crime.
In response to these allegations, the Commission has frozen the Imaber General Trading bank account with a balance of K70,000. Bertha Njamba is currently on bond and will appear in court soon.
The Drug Enforcement Commission expressed concern over the high incidence of fraud, particularly in the commodity sector. The Commission, as an investigative agency of the state, is determined to safeguard the nation’s food reserves by identifying and prosecuting perpetrators involved in such fraudulent schemes.
The public is reassured that the Commission has established a strong working relationship with the FRA to ensure the protection of the country’s food security and bring wrongdoers to justice.
In other developments, the Commission in Mongu, in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), arrested and charged Lubeso Lubeso (39) and Mubuyayeta Mubuyayeta (32) for trafficking 285.3 kilograms of loose cannabis, as per Section 15 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act No. 35 of 2021 of the Laws of Zambia. The suspects were apprehended in Mongu while en route to Limulunga.
In a separate incident in Western Province, the Commission conducted a joint operation with the DNPW in Nangweshi area, Sioma district, leading to the arrest of Moonga Muyole (35) and Sheleni Linguma (25) for trafficking 16.3 kilograms of loose cannabis. During the same operation, Mubumbulwa Kwalela (31) was found in possession of four elephant tusks. This matter is being handled by the DNPW.
The Drug Enforcement Commission is vigilant and collaborates with other government institutions, including the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, to combat drug trafficking and organized crime in the Republic.