A local entrepreneur says he lost M40 000 in a Maseru bank last month, while he was about to deposit the money for his business associate based in Botswana.
The businessman, Teboho Makara, on Friday alleged the incident took place on 8 May and efforts to recover the money have not been successful.
He also accuses the bank, situated along Kingsway (name withheld) of not being cooperative in his battle to track down the thief.
“I went to the bank on 8 May at around 3pm, and the money was in a black plastic back. I put the money on the counter beside me, while I checked the information on the deposit slip.
“I was with my colleague whom I asked to go out of the bank to answer his phone, since you cannot speak on the phone in the bank.
That money was meant to pay for the work permits of my employees in Botswana,” Mr Makara said.
“To my surprise, when I raised my head, the plastic bag with the money was gone. I immediately alerted the security guard on duty and asked that seven clients who were in the bank be searched.
“I blocked the door so that whoever had taken the money could not leave and I did not let anyone enter the bank. But the bank authorities refused, saying by so doing, they would be harassing their clients.
“One of the officials called me to his office, saying I should come the next day to watch the CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) footage but unfortunately, I was supposed to leave for a business trip to Botswana the following day. I told him I could only make it on 11 May.”
Mr Makara further said when he came back on 11 May, the officials started to “act funny” and reportedly told him the security cameras were not on the day he lost his money.
“Because I was not getting any help from the bank, I wrote to the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) on 19 May, asking for assistance in recovering the money. I also reported the matter to the police.”
According to Mr Makara, who showed the Sunday Express a copy of the letter he wrote to the CBL, he suspected the money was stolen by someone who works in the bank.
“During one of the meetings we had with the police and a certain official from the bank, I mentioned that there was one lady who had been behind me in the banking hall that day, and he seemed to remember who I was talking about. He even took out his phone to call that lady and that raised my suspicion. I could not understand how come the bank official knew the lady I was talking about yet he was not there when the incident happened.”
Several attempts to get a comment from the bank were fruitless last week, while the District Commissioner of Maseru Urban Police, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, confirmed the incident had been reported.
“We are currently investigating the matter, but no arrests have been made so far,” Senior Superintendent Kolo said.