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Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines liquidator arrested, calls money-laundering charges “baseless”

LUSAKA, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The state-appointed provisional liquidator of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Milingo Lungu, has been arrested and charged with laundering greater than $2 million, Zambia’s money-laundering authority mentioned on Wednesday.

“The money is said to have come into his possession by virtue of being the Provisional Liquidator for Konkola Copper Mines Plc,” the Drug Enforcement Commission, which handles such instances, mentioned.

Lungu known as the allegations levelled by the fee “baseless and untrue” in an announcement issued by KCM’s company affairs division afterward Wednesday.

“I welcome the opportunity to clear my name in Court,” Lungu mentioned within the assertion. “This will be done following due process and not in the Court of public opinion.”

The fee alleged that Lungu, performing with others, “did engage in theft” involving 110.4 million Zambian kwachas and $250,000 between May 22, 2019 and Aug. 15, 2021, and “obtained money by false pretences” amounting to $2.2 million.

“He has also been charged for money laundering for the said amounts,” the fee mentioned.

Zambia’s earlier authorities handed management of KCM to the provisional liquidator in May 2019, triggering a authorized battle with Vedanta Resources (VDAN.NS), KCM’s dad or mum firm.

The authorities accused Vedanta on the time of failing to honour licence situations, together with promised funding. Vedanta has beforehand denied KCM broke the phrases of its licence.

Lungu has been launched on police bond and can seem in courtroom quickly, the fee mentioned.

Vedanta declined to touch upon the arrest.

Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka, Writing by Helen Reid in Johannesburg; Editing by Emma Rumney, Timothy Heritage and Louise Heavens

An aerial view of the Konkola mine project in Chililabombwe, 500km (300miles) north of the capital Lusaka, Zambia May 11, 2005. REUTERS/SALIM HENRY/File Photo

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