Financial crimes in Zambia increases to K6.1 billion in 2018 – FIC report
The Financial Intelligence Centre’s 5th edition 2018 money laundering and terrorist financing trends report has shown an increase in suspicious financial transactions at K6.1 billion involving 176 cases analysed.
The report observes that in 2018, trends were in many ways similar to those in the preceding years with 2017 recording K4.5 billion.
FIC Director General Mary Chirwa says from the 176 suspicious transactions reported last year, 80 were disseminated to law enforcement agencies on suspicions involving K1 billion in tax evasion, K4.9 billion in corruption, K110 Million in theft and K54 Million in fraud.
Ms. Chirwa says prevalent forms of corruption involving K4.9 billion involved bribery, self-dealing or conflict of interest with public procurement activities where certain specifications are manipulated to disadvantage other bidders which has led to crowding of legitimate businesses.
And the FIC report has revealed a trend where some private companies that were awarded public contracts were funding some named political party activities through prominent individuals linked to the political parties amounting to K10 Million last year.
The center has since recommended that the registrar of societies makes it a requirement for all political parties to disclose their sources of funding and submit audited annual financial statements.
Meanwhile, the 2018 FIC report says a case of suspected corruption, abuse of office and money laundering was disseminated to authorities where the suspect is alleged to have amassed wealth not inline with his expected income within a short period with the aid of his associates.
The suspect is alleged to have influenced the awarding of contracts to foreign construction companies and in return, 49 residential properties were constructed for him valued at K70 Million.
The companies further purchased two luxury vehicles for him valued at K4 Million while his associates also acquired four properties valued at K61 Million.
Meanwhile, Financial Intelligence Centre FIC Acting Board Chairperson John Kasanga says Zambia risks being the epicenter for illicit financial flows and terrorist financing if such trends are not confronted openly to bring about sanity.
Speaking this morning at the launch of the 5th edition 2018 Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Trends Report, Mr. Kasanga illicit financial flows have the capacity to distort the economy and therefore, the center cannot standby and watch the economy loose money through illicit flows trends which needs to be stopped among them tax evasion.
Mr. Kasanga has also clarified that the trends that the Financial Intelligence Centre discloses publicly seeks to highlight risks that the country faces but the trends are different from information the centre gives to law enforcers when a primaface is established.
He also says the centre has been allowed to work without interference.