SWINDLED MAN CRIES

$65, 000 di­verted into con­sul­tant’s per­sonal ac­count

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By AARON CHIYANZO

A LUSAKA busi­ness­man, Frank Mphepo has al­legedly been swindled out of over US$ 65,000 by a lo­cal named pro­cure­ment con­sul­tant af­ter she di­verted a pay­ment to her per­sonal ac­count and go­ing into hid­ing.

AI got in touch with the of­fi­cer’s su­pe­rior who told me to go to his of­fice and sum­moned the same man also. It was at this time that the of­fi­cer brought out the doc­u­ments show­ing that a pay­ment was made but this time to a dif­fer­ent ac­count and showed the let­ter show­ing that we changed our bank and ac­count de­tails. I asked how they ac­cepted the let­ter with­out con­firm­ing with me but I was not given sat­is­fac­tory an­swers— Mr Mphepo

LUSAKA busi­ness­man, Frank Mphepo has al­legedly been swindled out of over US$ 65,000 by a lo­cal named pro­cure­ment con­sul­tant af­ter she di­verted a pay­ment to her per­sonal ac­count and go­ing into hid­ing. And Mr Mphepo has com­plained of po­lice in­er­tia in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter as the of­fi­cers had failed to ap­pre­hend the sus­pect since July this year when it was re­ported. He now fears that he could lose his house which he had used as col­lat­eral when ac­quir­ing a loan to fa­cil­i­tate for sup­plies. Mr Mphepo’s com­pany, Cu­bic In­no­va­tions had been con­tracted by the United Na­tions agency in Zam­bia to sup­ply as­sorted items. The fe­male con­sul­tant who had been act­ing as the mid­dle per­son be­tween Cu­bic In­no­va­tions and the UN agency al­legedly changed the bank and ac­count de­tails where the lat­ter was to be de­posit­ing pay­ments with­out the knowl­edge of the sign­i­na­tory, Mr Mphepo. Ac­cord­ing to Mr Mphepo, the fe­male con­sul­tant kept on ly­ing to him that the pay­ment for the last con­sign­ment was not yet made when un­known to him, she had al­ready re­ceived it through her per­sonal ac­count. He how­ever won­dered how the UN agency had al­lowed to changes in the re­cip­i­ent bank de­tails with­out con­sult­ing from him. “The UN agency is well aware that am the pro­pri­etor and sig­na­tory of Cu­bic In­no­va­tions. The con­sul­tant was not even our em­ployee but just a con­sul­tant and they ac­cepted a doc­u­ment which showed that the com­pany was now trad­ing as Re­tail Gear and Equip­ment and had a dif­fer­ent ac­count num­ber,” lamented Mr Mphepo. Mr Mphepo, who strongly sus­pected that the con­sul­tant was work­ing with an in­sider at the UN agency, said that he started chas­ing the pay­ment last De­cem­ber, un­til he de­cided to make a fol­low up with the UN de­part­ment around April this year. He nar­rated how a named pro­cure­ment per­son­nel at the UN agency was dilly-dal­ly­ing in at­tend­ing to his mat­ter un­til he re­ported the sit­u­a­tion to his su­pe­ri­ors. “I got in touch with the of­fi­cer’s su­pe­rior who told me to go to his of­fice and sum­moned the same man also. It was at this time that the of­fi­cer brought out the doc­u­ments show­ing that a pay­ment was made but this time to a dif­fer­ent ac­count and showed the let­ter show­ing that we changed our bank and ac­count de­tails. I asked how they ac­cepted the let­ter with­out con­firm­ing with me but I was not given sat­is­fac­tory an­swers,” said Mr Mphepo. Mr Mphepo said that it was at this time that he lost con­tact with the con­sul­tant and she could not be lo­cated any­where. He said that he even­tu­ally re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice in July this year but was not happy with the pace of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, de­spite some of­fi­cers show­ing in­ter­est in bring­ing the sus­pect to book.

-Pic­tures by THOMAS NSAMA

First Lady Es­ther Lungu re­ceives flow­ers from six year-old Princess Mal­ishala dur­ing an Out­reach Pro­gramme to men­tor the girl-child and em­power women at Katanga Pri­mary School grounds in Bang­weulu Con­stituency, Lua­pula Prov­ince on Thurs­day,

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