Government through the office of the Attorney General announces the recovery of the sum of €516,975.21 (about K601,444,911.92) following the fraud committed by Barkaat Food Limited (Barkaat) and Bova Investments Corporation (Bova).
A statement signed by Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, says after noting red flags FIDOR Bank AG and the German authorities acted swiftly to intercept and freeze the funds in the bank account of one Andrei Grünbaum, an Estonian collaborator of Barkaat and Bova, in July 2022.
“After being alerted to the fraud by red flags, Criminal proceedings were commenced against Grünbaum in November 2022 by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Munich. Significant achievements were registered in the matter by March this year. In May 2023 the judgment against Mr. Grünbaum was made final, and proceedings for an order confiscating the funds from Mr. Grünbaum and directing restoration of the same to the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM)were commenced.
“The proceedings were successfully concluded on Thursday, 17 August 2023, when the Munich Court directed that the €516,975.21 be repatriated to SFFRFM’s bank account in Malawi. The funds have now been received by SFFRFM,” reads the statement in part.
The AG also disclosed that the principal fraudster in the scheme has been netted and his trial commences next month in America. He has warned criminals that the honeymoon is over and will face the law wherever they might try to run.
Chakaka Nyirenda then applauded President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and various key offices that supported the recovery efforts that have now borne fruit.