Police in Ndola have arrested a lawyer Zacharias Muya for money laundering and theft involving billions of Zambian old currency and USA dollars.
Muya is facing charges of theft and money laundering together with some Italian businessmen Antonio Ventriglia and Daniele Ventriglia.
The money is said to have been stolen from Zambezi Portland when the Ventriligia family managed it for three years up to 2012.
The Ventriligias are minority shareholders in Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC)but had in 2008 hounded out majority shareholders.
According to an audit report on ZPC by Deloitte and Touche (see below) , Muya’s company Laurel Mining Equipment Limited was paid equivalent of USD 18,764,521 but did not show why it was paid this money. It did not supply any equipment or offer any service to ZPC but received huge amounts of money. According to documents at the Patents and Companies Registration Office (PACRA) the principal business of Muya’s company is farming.
In addition, ZPC paid over K 3.8Billion (Old currency) to Muya & Co for alleged legal services. Some of these payments were made in cash.
Muya directed ZPC to pay USD 375,000 to Antonio Ventriglia’s account in Dubai against Zacharia Muya’s invoice for legal services allegedly to ZPC.
The question is why did Muya not justify his claim; get paid by the Company and then pay A. Ventriglia. It is this movement of monies that has raised charges of clear of money laundering!
The Watchdog understands that more people including lawyers who were involved in money laundering at ZPC and theft of cement will soon be arrested.