The Office of the Attorney General has received a confirmation over the receipt of €516,975.21 from Barkaat Food LTD.
In a press statement which the AG has released, this follows a Criminal proceedings which commenced against Mr. Grünbaum in November 2022 by Office of the Public Prosecutor, Munich.
“My office is pleased to announce the recovery of the sum of €516,975.21 on behalf of the Malawi Government and the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) following the fraud committed by Barkaat Food Limited (Barkaat) and Bova Investments Corporation (Bova),” he said.
After being alerted to the fraud by red flags, the FIDOR Bank AG and the German authorities acted swiftly to intercept and freeze the funds in the bank account of one Andrei Grünbaum, an Estonian collaborator of Barkaat and Bova, in July 2022.
Significant achievements were registered in the matter by March this year.
Nyirenda says in May, 2023 the judgment against Mr. Grünbaum was made final, and proceedings for an order confiscating the funds from Mr. Grünbaum and directing restoration of the same to SFFRFM were commenced.
The proceedings were successfully concluded on Thursday, 17 August 2023, when the Munich Court directed that the €516,975.21 be repatriated to SFFRFM’s bank account in Malawi.
“The funds have now been received by SFFRFM. The successful outcome of the case is a testament to the robustness, effectiveness, and efficiency of the German justice and legal system, ” reads the statement.
Chakaka has since thanked the Malawi High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (His Excellency Dr. Francis Bisika) and his staff for providing quick support to SFFRFM in July 2022 and the Malawi Ambassador to Germany (His Excellency Father Joseph Mpinganjira) and his staff for providing support to the recovery process all through.
The AG has also thanked the former German Ambassador to Malawi (His Excellency Ralph Timmerman) for his support at that crucial time.
The Attorney General has since commended President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, for his guidance and encouragement in pursuing the recovery efforts that have now borne fruit.
The AG has also commended Prosecutor General for Munich, his Deputy, and the Office of the Chief Prosecutor Munich 1 and their teams for their good judgment in the type of proceedings to commence against Mr. Grünbaum.
The AG has also commended Mr. Thomas Weith (Deputy Prosecutor General, Munich), Florian Weinzierl (Senior Public Prosecutor, Munich Chief Public Prosecutors Office), Mr. Joachim Ettenhofer (Chief Prosecutor, Office of the Prosecutor General Munich), Mr. Hans Kornprobst (Chief Public Prosecutor, Office of the Prosecutor Munich I), Ms. Alendra Rothe, (Senior Public Prosecutor, Office of the Prosecutor Munich I), Mr. Martin Weigl, (Senior Public Prosecutor, Office of the Prosecutor General Munich), Ms. Petra Wagner, (Senior Public Prosecutor, now judge of the Patent Court, Munich) for the good work.