Carlsberg Africa hit by huge financial scandal

Financial controller and others suspended

Forensic auditors have uncovered a huge financial scandal at Carlsberg’s brewery in Malawi in Africa. Local media reported that the malfeasance could amount to nearly 80 million kroner.

The scandal has led to the suspension of Carlsberg Malawi financial controller Geobra Kamanga, his deputy Austin Phiri and procurement manager Ezzra Njobvu who are suspected of defrauding the company.

“We have become aware of irregularities in the financial department,” Carlsberg spokesperson Jens Bekke told Politiken. “We aren’t sure where the newspaper got its financial amounts because we haven’t finished our audits and aren’t sure of any amounts yet.”

Raw materials
According to the local newspaper Nyasa Times, the fraud mainly occurred through purchase of raw materials like sugar and the procurement of other services.

“There was a network of people and this has been happening for a long time and that is why the figure is huge,” wrote the Nyasa Times.

The paper said that “this could be one of the most complicated white collar crimes in Malawi so far”.

The scale of the fraud became clear when representatives from Carlsberg Malawi called auditors from Denmark to investigate a tip about the fraud.

“We are pleased that we have an effective whiste-blower system which makes it possible to draw attention to irregularities,” said Bekke.

Living the high life
A Carlsberg Malawi told the local paper that company heads became suspicious of Kamanga when he ‘mysteriously’ missed his flight to Hong Kong two weeks ago where he was going for a Board meeting together with some bosses.

“It was suspicious that he could miss his flight while he was in the VIP lounge. He had to make other arrangements but arrived in Hong Kong when everybody else including his bosses had already arrived,” said the Nyasa Times source.

The sources said there was a “massive change” in the lifestyle of Kamanga and the others, including buying expensive cars and other things which lead to the company to hire forensic experts including one from the FBI.

“The (Danish) auditors were suspicious when they audited the procurement and controller’s office. They found out that the cost of sales were higher in billions than what is has always been,” said the source.

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Carlsberg owns 59 percent of its subsidiary Carlsberg Malawi. Despite many attempts to spread on the African continent, Malawi in the only country where the brand has really taken root.

Carlsberg’s brewery in Malawi opened in 1968.