The Commercial Division of the High Court has ordered Airtel Malawi and Standard Bank to pay a fine of over 120 million kwacha in a case the claimant, businessman Billy Milimbo of DBM Construction for lost 24 million kwacha to fraudsters who cashed the money in his absence at two standard bank branches after a sim-swap.

According to the judgment document making rounds, Milimbo had left three cheques with clear instructions to Standard Bank before he left for South Africa, but the cheques were cashed by unknown people after an agent of Airtel Malawi gave away details of the claimant to phone fraudsters who went to the bank’s two branches to cash the amount while Milimbo was still in South Africa.

In His ruling, Justice Ken Manda ordered Airtel and Standard Bank to pay 98.9 million kwacha plus interest.

The two will also share the liability of 24 million kwacha which Milimbo lost, plus interest, while Airtel has been fined extra 6 million kwacha as exemplary damages for breach of their statutory duty and Standard Bank have also been fined 71.8 million kwacha for refusing to refund Milimbo 24 million kwacha after he notified them of his loss.

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