Bank technician jailed 5 years for fraud

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A former Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) employee, Cletos Mahlatini, was on Tuesday slapped with a five-year jail term after being convicted of 17 counts of fraud involving $141 836.

Mahlatini was employed as the bank’s information technology assistant manager.

Regional magistrate Never Katiyo acquitted Mahlatini on a single count out of the 18 to which he had pleaded not guilty.

The offences were committed between January and February last year.

Munetsi Kanyimo who had been implicated in the scam was acquitted after the State failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

The court ordered the state to reimburse $25 000 confiscated from Kanyimo by the police during investigations.

Katiyo sentenced Mahlatini to a five-year jail term and suspended two years on condition of good behaviour.

A further one-and-a-half-years were suspended on condition Mahlatini pays restitution to ZABG in the sum of $116 155 by December 2011.

Mahlatini will serve an effective one-and-a-half-year jail term.

Mahlatini’s conviction came after a lengthy trial during which a lot of documents were produced by prosecutor Editor Mavuto as evidence to prove all the fraudulent transactions.

The court heard that Mahlatini opened three foreign accounts with ZABG by using fake identification cards with fictitious names and transferred cash into those fraudulent accounts.

He later withdrew the money through cash withdrawals and made a bank transfers of $7 925 to Redan Petroleum for 5 500 litres of petrol and further received 1 000 litres’ worth of diesel coupons.

Mahlatini’s luck ran out when ZABG authorities conducted an audit which revealed all the fraudulent transactions.

It also emerged during the investigations that the fraudulent activities were being carried out after normal working hours.

Of the entire total amount stolen, ZABG only managed to recover $45 648 and the court also ordered that the 5 500 litres’ worth of fuel coupons be surrendered to the bank.