Zesco employee testifies in Bulgarians’ fraud case


A ZESCO employee has testified how three Bulgarians allegedly withdrew money from her account leaving her with only K5.
This is in a matter where Milko Kostadinov, Hristo Donkon and Abdalla Albatti are charged with 11 counts of theft, unauthorised access to data, and possession of devices for capturing data contrary to the law.
Kostadinov, Donkon and Albatti were alleged to have between March 3, 2013 and December 11, 2013 unlawfully accessed bank accounts of different Barclays Bank Zambia customers and stole their money.
More than K156,000 was stolen from the Ndola, Kitwe, Kabwe and Lusaka Barclays Bank Zambia branches.
Charity Mutale, 31, a Zesco service order supervisor in Kabwe, narrated to Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda yesterday how she was shocked when she received three text messages informing her that K8,340 had been withdrawn from her account.
Ms Mutale said that on March 11, 2013, she received text messages from the bank notifying her that she had made three withdrawals of K4,000, K340 and another K4, 000 from her account.
She said since she did not withdraw any money on the material day, she made a follow-up with her bank to establish whether it was true.
Ms Mutale said when she got to the bank, she asked for the balance and she was shocked to be informed that she only had K5 out of the K8, 346.69 she had left in the account.
She requested for a bank statement which indicated that three withdrawal transactions had been made from an ATM in Ndola, at a BP filling station.
Ms Mutale told the bank that she was not aware about the withdrawals as she was in Kabwe at the time the money was being withdrawn from Ndola.
She was advised to fill in a form to dispute the transaction and the bank advised her that it would get in touch with her.
It was at this point that the bank launched investigations which subsequently led to the arrest of Kostadinov, Donkon and Albatti. They all denied the charges against them.
The matter was adjourned to February 12, 2014 for continued trial.