- Court rules that Seretse’s cars and properties were proceeds of crime
- Kerekang transferred funds into Bakang’s company without authority
The state has been granted civil forfeiture of Bakang Seretse’s assets which are believed to be proceeds of crime relating to the P230 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) case, The Botswana Gazette has established.
On 8 September, Justice Omphemetse Motumise ruled in favour of the state in its application for forfeiture of assets belonging to Seretse and his companies pending the finalisation of the NPF matter.
Some of the assets believed to be proceeds of the NPF alleged loot include a Maserati Ghilibi worth P8 million, two Mercedes Benz sedans, a Lexus LX, a Toyota Rav4, a Ford Ranger, a Volvo XC 90, a Land-cruiser 4.5, a Toyota Hilux, a Ford Fiesta, a Subaru station wagon, a VW Polo and a Rolls Royce Phantom estimated to be worth P7 million.
Other assets listed include gym equipment, a Rolex watch worth more than P200,000 as well as farm and gardening equipment, all totaling more than P30 million.
The assets, listed as respondents, have been held by the state since 2018 through a restraining court order. Court papers show that between March and December 2016, former director at Department of Energy, Kenneth Kerekang, who is also charged as a co-accused in the NPF case, authorised payment of more than P60 million to Basis Points, owned by Seretse.
“On the balance, the respondents are therefore proceeds of serious crime and related activities liable to be forfeited to the government,” Justice Motumise ruled.
“This means that the applicant’s submissions remain unchallenged that the NPF funds were obtained in a manner that resulted in commission of confiscation offences relied on by the DPP.”
The judge observed that Kerekang acted fraudulently and without authority when transferring the NPF funds to Basis Points. In return, Kerekang and his wife were rewarded with Plot 16403 in Gaborone West, said the judge. The same plot has also been forfeited by the state.
“The public revenue was cheated contrary to section 33 of CECA by the fraudulent actions of both Mr Kerekang and Mr Seretse in diverting the NPF funds for private gain instead of purchasing oil stock for Botswana Oil, according to the avowed purpose for which the funds were assigned,” Justice Motumise intoned.
“The confiscation offence of money laundering was committed contrary to Section 47 of PICA by Mr Seretse and Basis Points by using the NPF funds to purchase the respondents for themselves and related companies and individuals.”
“The interested persons to whom the properties were transferred by Mr Seretse or Basis Points received them for no value and offered no explanation how they acquired them, consequent to a buying spree by Mr Seretse and Basis Points.”
Justice Motumise ordered that the cost of the application be borne by the respondents.
However, he ordered that the 5th Respondent (Plot No. 4890, Extension 11) be excluded from the civil forfeiture. The plot was originally acquired through a loan by Basis Points and been repossesed by Bank Gaborone through a writ of execution.
The 13th Respondent (Mercedes Benz Reg No. B 291 BEX), which is registered under Ms Jeanette Mooketse and was bought for P650 000 in May 2017, has been restored to her. Justice Motumise ruled that the state failed to prove if the car is also part of the NPF alleged loot.
Mooketse is Sadique Kebonang’s mother.