The Directorate of Public Prosecutions moved another step closer to recovering the government’s P60 million from Basis Points Capital LTD when it closed its final submissions on Tuesday.
The DPP has made an application for Civil Forfeiture Order against property belonging to persons implicated in criminal proceedings in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund scam that is before the courts.
Making his final submissions, Ernest Mosate responded to
arguments raised by the lawyers for the defendants saying that they were wrong
to think that the DPP has no right to raise the issue of a fraudulent contract
between DIS and Basis Points Capital LTD in their Replying Affidavit.
He said they had no intention to make the issue part of their application for the order, but the respondents raised it in their answering affidavits.
“Our Replying Affidavit brought evidence to demonstrate that
the contract does not exist, it is a fraudulent document and that is why it
cannot be the basis for the eating of 60 million Pula and for the manner in
which it was eaten,” Mosate argued.
Basis Points Capital is linked to Bakang Seretse who is implicated in the 250 million NPF case that is still pending before the courts of law.
Mosate said that the fraudulent contract came into being
between March and July 2016 and a total of P60 million was transferred to Basis
Points Capital bank accounts at Stanbic Bank and Bank Gaborone between July and
December of the same year.
He added that fraudulent signatures, fraudulent correspondence, and ghost employees of DIS were used in the scam hence the urgent need to recover the funds.
This, he said, was confirmed by DIS and ministry officials who have disowned the signatures that appear in agreement documents.
Earlier, the defendants called for government officials to take to the witness stand and be subjected to cross examination in respect to the contents of their affidavits.
Mosate said that the rules of the High Court Act and Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA) prescribe how forfeiture proceedings should be conducted – “they should be conducted speedily and expeditiously”.
He said there was no need for a full trial but the judge had the discretion to call some witnesses to clarify their averments.
The DPP further said that the company did not procure oil as purported in the fraudulent contract but instead, the funds were used in acquisition of luxurious vehicles and acquisition of plots which are to be forfeited.
Some of the vehicles under the DPP’s radar are a couple of Ford Maceratti, Mercedes Benz luxury vehicles and developed plots.
Meanwhile, Justice OmphemetseMotumise has postponed the matter to end of July when he will pass judgment.