Blantyre - A court in Malawi has jailed nine senior police
officers to 14 years each for fraud, a prosecutor said on Monday.
The officers, most of them at superintendent rank, were
convicted of stealing a total of 55 million kwacha ($164 000) from the
"The nine had formed a network with civilians to siphon
money from the Malawi Police Service through over-requisitioning of salaries
and also underpaying taxes," police prosecutor Happy Mkandawire told AFP.
Mkandawire, who led the prosecution team, said the nine were
part of an original group of 15 suspects arrested in 2009 during a
"clean-up exercise" of the police headquarters accounts department.
One of the convicts, Isaac Moyo, was the chief paymaster of
the 11 000-strong police force in the southern African country.
Three suspects were acquitted, two died during the trial and
one female officer was given a suspended sentence because she has a baby.
The nine others were jailed on Friday after a four-year
The prosecutor said that sudden changes in the officers'
lifestyles, including buying cars and owning property, raised suspicion and
prompted the audit.
Malawi police officers earn on average the equivalent of
$100 a month.
Prosecutors estimate that one third of Malawi's revenue is
lost to fraud and ghost workers.