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Justice Served in High-Profile Embezzlement Scheme – Court Recognises Victim in Forfeiture Judgment.

WhatsApp Image 2024-05-17 at 8.01.51 PM

Justice Served in High-Profile Embezzlement Scheme – Court Recognises Victim in Forfeiture Judgment.

In a significant victory for the National Prosecution Authority, the Economic and Financial Crimes Court (EFCC) has delivered a judgment in the Ngucha case, ordering the forfeiture of assets worth millions of Kwacha to the State.

The case involved a sophisticated embezzlement scheme that took place between January 1 and December 31, 2019, in which a staggering K7,755,472.32 was stolen through fictitious credit transactions. The managers of various service stations masterminded the scheme, using their positions to create fictitious credit transactions, deposit less cash sales from the purported transactions, and steal the difference.

The Interested Parties were identified as:

  • Anthony Sindala (1st Interested Party)
  • Irfan Aziz (2nd Interested Party)
  • Kenneth Mazibisa (3rd Interested Party)
  • Kennedy Tembo (3rd Interested Party)
  • Raphael Chabala (4th Interested Party).

The said interested parties were found to have engaged in the criminal activity and were charged with:

  • Theft by Servant, contrary to Section 278 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia
  • Forgery, contrary to Section 344 as read with Section 347 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia
  • Uttering of false documents, contrary to Section 352 of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia
  • Money Laundering, contrary to Section 7 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001 as read with Section 44 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia
  • Possession of Property Suspected to be Proceeds of Crime, contrary to Section 71 of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

The court ordered the forfeiture of the assets, citing overwhelming evidence of criminal activity. The forfeited assets include four Toyota Hiace mini buses, six other motor vehicles, and a block of flats in Chunga Government Farms. These assets were found to be tainted by crime, having been acquired through the proceeds of the embezzlement scheme.

Ngucha Energy Corporation, the rightful owner of the stolen funds, was entitled to restitution. The court ordered that the subject properties be surrendered to Ngucha Energy Corporation to dispose of in a manner it deems fit.

On 15th May, 2024, Justice P.K. Yangailo, A. Malata-Ononuju, and I.M. Mabbolobbolo delivered the judgment, recognising the rights and interests of Ngucha Energy Corporation and ordering the forfeiture of the tainted assets.

This judgment sends a strong message to those who engage in illicit activities, demonstrating the commitment of the justice system to protecting the rights of innocent parties and upholding the rule of law. The successful prosecution of this case is proof to the tireless efforts of law enforcement agencies in investigating financial crimes.

This case also highlights the effectiveness of Non-Conviction Based Forfeiture in recovering assets tainted by crime, while also recognising the rights and interests of third parties. It gives confidence to investors in the country, knowing that in the event of employee theft, they can recover their losses through forfeiture applications.

The National Prosecution Authority is committed to ensuring that those who engage in criminal activity are held accountable, and that justice is served.

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The National Prosecution Authority is a statutory body established by the National Prosecution Authority act No. 34 of 2010 with a mandate of instituting criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.

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