Zambia’s Financial Watchdog Uncovers ZMW13.58 Billion in Suspicious Activity

… An Increase of 133% between 2022 and 2023…

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) of Zambia has reported a staggering 133% increase in the value of intelligence reports disseminated to law enforcement agencies, reaching a startling ZMW13.58 billion in 2023, up from ZMW5.83 billion the previous year.

This spike in reported illicit financial flows comes as the FIC analyzed a total of 15,696 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) in 2023, a significant jump from the 10,293 STRs processed in 2022, according to the agency’s 9th Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Trends Report.

The majority of these intelligence reports were centered around suspected money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion – a trend that has been consistent in recent years, underscoring the entrenched nature of financial crimes in Zambia.

“The abuse of corporate vehicles through the masking of beneficial ownership was a continuing trend in 2023,” the report noted, highlighting the use of fronts and falsified documents to conceal the true owners of businesses. “In the majority of cases, corporate vehicles had either not disclosed their beneficial owners with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) as required by law, or disclosed ‘strawmen’ as beneficial owners.”

The FIC’s crackdown on financial crimes has yielded tangible results, with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) making tax assessments amounting to ZMW1.2 billion in principal tax, interest, and penalties based on the intelligence provided. The agency has so far recovered over ZMW3.5 million, with investigations and prosecutions ongoing in several cases.

Clement K. Kapalu, the Director General of the FIC, emphasized the agency’s unwavering commitment to the fight against financial crimes, stating, “With the continued support from the Government and collaboration with stakeholders, the FIC remains resolute in discharging its mandate.”

infinitymediahub #stayinformed

10th July, 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *