CABS Bank has petitioned the High Court seeking a garnishee order against a member of the National Defence University, Arnold Lethlale Pullen, who reportedly stole $262 208 that had been mistakenly transferred into his bank account during a system failure at the financial institution in 2017.
According to the papers recently filed at the court, Cabs Bank Limited has cited Pullen as the judgment debtor while Defence minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and the director of the Salary Service Bureau (SSB) are cited as garnishees.
In his founding affidavit, Cabs Bank head of recoveries, Collins Chikukwa said his employer was making the application for a garnishee order in terms of Order 42 of the High Court Rules, 1971 after having failed to recover the cash directly from Pullen.
“On April 2, 2019, the applicant (Cabs) obtained an order against the third respondent (Pullen) in the sum of US$262 208 together with interest thereon calculated at the rate of 20% per annum and costs of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale,” he said.
“The judgment debt arises from unauthorised overdrafts utilised by the third respondent which debt remains outstanding and unsatisfied. The applicant is aware that the third respondent is a member of the Air Force and is employed by the first respondent (Defence minister).”
The bank further said since the minister, through the SSB is obliged to pay a monthly salary to Pullen as the judgment debtor it is on that basis that the current application has been made.
“The applicant prays for an order compelling the first and second respondents to pay the sum of US$1 000 per month to it until the judgment debt is paid in full,” he said.
Sometime last year Pullen was arrested and charged with theft after which he was released on bail when he appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.
It was the State’s case that between May and September 2017 Cabs experienced challenges on its banking system, which resulted in the automatic crediting of clients’ accounts thereby allowing clients to access funds, but not being debited at the time.
Pullen is reported to have noted the system’s weakness and took advantage of it and stole $237 000, which he transferred to various Steward Bank and ZB Bank accounts. The application is pending.