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Vedanta Zambian CEO Denies Paying Man Who Impersonated President

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Kishore Kumar, head of Vedanta Resources Plc’s Zambian unit, said police reports that he deposited 200,000 kwacha ($35,971) in the bank account of a man impersonating President Michael Sata were incorrect.

“We did not deposit the said amount in anybody’s account, nor arrange for such transfers,” Kumar said in reply to e-mailed questions. “An investigation was done by our internal security team and the police was alerted to a potential fraud.”

Zambian police arrested a man for impersonating Sata to swindle Konkola Copper Mines Chief Executive Officer Kumar, North-Western province commissioner Eugene Sibote said. Kumar was told by the alleged fraudster to deposit the money in a bank account in Solwezi, Sibote said by phone from the town. Kumar deposited the money on Sept. 6, before reporting the matter to the police later that month after the Sata impersonator asked for a further 400,000 kwacha, Sibote said.

The Lusaka-based Post earlier reported that a 35-year-old man had been arrested for illegally getting cash from Kumar by imitating Zambia’s president. The newspaper cited Sibote.

Konkola spokeswoman Joy Sata didn’t answer two calls to her mobile or respond to a text message seeking comment.

Zambia revoked Kumar’s work permit this month after he announced Konkola planned to dismiss 1,529 workers to cut costs. He left the country on Nov. 8 and won’t be allowed back, Information and Broadcasting Minister Mwansa Kapeya said on Nov. 10.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at mhill58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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