LUSAKA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The state-appointed provisional
liquidator of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Milingo Lungu, has
been arrested and charged with laundering more than $2 million,
Zambia's money-laundering authority said on Wednesday.
"The money is said to have come into his possession by
virtue of being the Provisional Liquidator for Konkola Copper
Mines Plc," the Drug Enforcement Commission, which handles such
Lungu called the allegations levelled by the commission
"baseless and untrue" in a statement issued by KCM's corporate
affairs department later on Wednesday.
"I welcome the opportunity to clear my name in Court," Lungu
said in the statement. "This will be done following due process
and not in the Court of public opinion."
The commission alleged that Lungu, acting with others, "did
engage in theft" involving 110.4 million Zambian kwachas and
$250,000 between May 22, 2019 and Aug. 15, 2021, and "obtained
money by false pretences" amounting to $2.2 million.
"He has also been charged for money laundering for the said
amounts," the commission said.
Zambia's previous government handed control of KCM to the
provisional liquidator in May 2019, triggering a legal battle
with Vedanta Resources, KCM's parent company.
The government accused Vedanta at the time of failing to
honour licence conditions, including promised investment.
Vedanta has previously denied KCM broke the terms of its
Lungu has been released on police bond and will appear in
court soon, the commission said.
Vedanta declined to comment on the arrest.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka, Writing by Helen Reid in
Johannesburg; Editing by Emma Rumney, Timothy Heritage and