Astra Paints accountant in US$180k theft stromlead

Zvikomborero Parafini

ASTRA Paints’ accountant, Adrian Chulu (41), has been accused of stealing more than US$180 000 from the company via unauthorised payments.

Chulu’s role included authorising company payments and reconciling accounts.

He was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi yesterday facing theft and money laundering charges.

The court heard that on October  17, Astra Paints general manager, Ebenezer Gumbo, was alerted to the issue by another employee.

Preliminary investigations suggested Chulu had changed the account authorisation system and authorised payments to companies that provided no services to the company.

Chulu allegedly converted the payments to his personal use and mitigated any potential discovery by tampering with the bank statement during his reconciliations.

He allegedly authorised payments of US$101 238 to Flamingo Flames, US$71 128 to Sine Cera Trading and US$5 720 to Novelty Global, yet no services were rendered by these companies.

The company lost US$186 085 and nothing was recovered.

Grace Mugocheke appeared for the State.

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