… Chief credit officer linked and suspended
Despite the national bank been conned M6 million in a scam suspected to be an inside job, Lesotho Post Bank (LPB) Managing Director, Molefi Leqhaoe, has allayed investors and depositors’ fears by assuring them that their “funds are still in safe hands”.
LPB is the only Lesotho-owned commercial bank and has been growing from bounds to bound in technology, market penetration and profits since its formation.
A top bank official Themba Sopeng, who is head of credit control, is alleged to have committed fraud by transferring a whooping M6 million from the bank to First National Bank Lesotho from where the funds were withdrawn within two hours.
It is alleged that on January 23, Sopeng transferred M6 million from an account belonging to a local company, Meriting Holdings to an account belonging to Teboho Construction at FNB.
FNB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bradwin Roper said due to client confidentiality, FNB would not divulge information surrounding the deposit and withdrawal of M6 million except to say that “FNB operates in accordance with the terms conditions as issued by the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and bank policies. The bank has complied with the relevant laws that govern management of bank accounts in this matter.”
Addressing a press conference in Maseru held at the LPB headquarters Leqhaoe revealed that since the matter involves theft and corruption, it has therefore been reported to police and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offence’s (DCEO).
“The disciplinary action is also going to be taken for every member of staff suspected to have been involved in the scam,” he assured.
Leqhaoe revealed there were about five employees of the bank
who are suspected to be involved in the scam. “However, they have not been suspended
because their contribution in this incident is not in monetary terms. They have
been ordered to compile reports which the management will take into
consideration during the disciplinary action.”
Although he could not elaborate on the future plans of the bank to avoid similar incidents in future for security purposes, Leqhaoe assured that the Bank is working tirelessly to ensure safety of clients’ monies.
He said: “It is the bank’s responsibility to ensure safety of clients’ cash. Whatever happens to their money is the bank’s responsibility to make sure that clients get refunded.
According to Leqhaoe, it is the first time the bank is visited by a fraud of this nature.