in Business & Finance

Swazi central bank freezes Aghalieaku Airways' bank accounts

Posted 27 November 2017 · Add Comment

The Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) has ordered Nedbank Swaziland to freeze the accounts of local carrier Aghalieaku Airways after investigations implicated its owner, Nigerian Chief Benjamin Aghalieaku Arinze, in possible drug cartel activities, reports ch-aviation.

CBS Governor CBS Majozi Sithole told the Times of Swaziland that the ordeal had started when Nedbank submitted an application to the CBS to approve the transfer of funds to Panama ostensibly as a deposit for a leased aircraft.

 

Sithole said on further investigation into Aghalieaku Airways' dealings and transactions, the CBS found that SZL621,501 Swazi Lilangeni (USD44,250) had been deposited into its account, in cash, over the course of three days. This had, in turn, raised transaction charges of SZL14,452.23 (USD1,028) which, Sithole said, was not objected to. Given the option of cheaper methods such as electronic transfers, the bank became suspicious leading to further investigations into the origin and breakdown of the funds which showed they were made of a combination of South African Rand notes and Lilangeni.

 

“A cash withdrawal of SZL250,000 had been made which did not make sense since that meant the funds left in the account were not sufficient to make the proposed transaction of USD40,000 (SZL574,000) as at July 2016,” the governor said.

 

Sithole said it had also been discovered that the chief executive officer of Aghalieaku Airways had made a false declaration by misrepresenting himself on a deposit slip as one of the company’s other directors.

 

Aghalieaku Airways was not available for comment with its website no longer active.

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