Kasanda reclaims his seized property from the State
BUSINESSMAN Shadreck Kasanda has now locked horns with the State in a legal battle over his seized wealth by the Drug Enforcement Commission after the thwarted gold scam at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport last August.
Kasanda wants the Economic and Financial Crimes Court to Compel the State to give him back his fully furnished house in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill and posh vehicles seized by the DEC as he earned the properties through his sweat.
After being incarcerated for four months the businessman’s joy of returning home to comfortable life was cut short when he and his espionage co-accused were released on bail by the High Court on November 28, 2023, as he established that he was roofless.
The shocking discovery of his properties being grabbed by the State and the eviction of his wife and children, the businessman rushed to Makebi Zulu’s law firm and asked him to draw up a legal defense in protest of his seized properties.
Kasanda has since cited the Attorney General as the respondent.
According to a petition before Court Kasanda of plot No. 19 main street, Ibex Hill Lusaka argued that on August 17, 2023 armed law enforcement officers comprising of the police and DEC raided his house without a warrant and turned it upside down in search of evidence only known to them.
He said the operation was conducted whilst his children were asleep in the wee hours of the day until midday when the officers asked him to accompany them to DEC offices for questioning.
Kasanda said after he was quizzed he was taken back to his home for another search and upon conclusion his house was confiscated pursuant to Section 15 of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001, on reason that it was liable for seizure.
He argued that his house was acquired through legal means and the officers cannot grab it from him and deny him comfort.
Kasanda said the officers have deprived him of his property rights when they seized his fancy house on suspicion, without concrete evidence.
Kasanda lamented that his right to privacy was violated as the officers entered his premises without obtaining a search warrant from a magistrate.
He stated that his right to a fair trial have been trampled upon as the documents relating to his property are under seizure and it will be difficult for him to form a defense and his presumption of innocence has been jeopardized.
Kasanda is seeking a declaration that the DEC has no powers to seize his house.
Kasanda wants the EFCC to declare the the confiscation of his house and cars was illegal.
He is also seeking an order that the seizure of his properties without him being charged or tried for any offence under the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001 or the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act No. 35 of 2021 violates his presumption of innocence.
He wants the Court to compel the commission to return his properties under its control.
Kasanda is also seeking damages for the inconvenience caused to his children who are minors for the mental anguish they have suffered upon losing soft life.
The businessman is further seeking damages for trespass and costs.
Since the US$ 5 million gold scam was unearthed at KKIA, trouble has found its place in Kasanda’s life as his other half as law enforcement officers have subjected him to scrutiny for crime.
As December 2023 came to and end the Zambia Revenue Authority recovered over K9.4 million in taxes from AFME Metal Exchange Limited in which he is a shareholder and director.
It was reported that the company was not tax compliant which led to the seizure of its account by the Drug Enforcement Commission pending further investigations into financial crimes.
By Mwaka Ndawa