The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has reported three Cabinet Ministers and two Presidential aides to security agencies for possible prosecution for their involvement in what the FIC has described as ‘Dubious’ transactions involving millions of Government funds.
By law, Banks are required to report any suspicious money transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre. When the Financial Intelligence Centre receives such reports, it analyses them and when satisfied that a financial crime has been committed, the centre is required to file such reports to the police for further investigations and prosecution. Unfortunately, when the FIC submits such reports to the law enforcement agencies, no action is taken instead the law enforcement agencies leak, sale these reports to the suspects.
Meanwhile the Centre has also reported notorious lawyer Eric Silwamba, Lewis Mosho and four other lawyers for investigations. The two lawyers are said to have been conduits of illicit money from government which they laundered using their law firms and private companies.
And the Centre has also reported one firm and a number of businessmen of Asian origin to the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Zambia Police for illicit financial transactions.
According to the Analysis Report submitted to the Zambia Police, DEC and the Anti-Corruption Commission, seen by the Zambian Watchdog, the Financial Intelligence Centre has submitted evidence of illicit financial transactions and corruption against Infrastructure Minister Ronald Chitotela, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya.
The report has also recommended that Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda and political advisor to the President Kaiser Zulu be investigated for financial crimes.
The report that has since caused a lot of panic in government circles especially State House, however not been acted upon by the security wings because of the political connections of people involved.
“Every year these reports are submitted to the Government but instead of acting upon them, these reports ended up with the same culprits and nothing has been done,” revealed a source.
The source said it was saddening that all the three security wings were failing to make arrests when the Centre has provided enough evidence.
“Zambians need to demand action from the security wings. These people must be arrested and prosecuted immediately,” the source revealed.
On lawyer Silwamba, evidence submitted to the police shows that his firm is among the law firms cited for money laundering and corruption. In one case, funds have been traced to bribing senior judges. Silwamba is accused of laundering money for one of the mining companies.
Under the category of findings of Designated non-financial Business and Professionals (DNFBP’s) the centre says legal firms are increasingly being used as vehicles for Money Laundering.
Most criminal elements have resorted to using these professionals to mask the source of funds and aid its movement to local and foreign destinations for reinvestment
In the cases analysed by the FIC during 2017, approximately ZMW 50 million ($10million) illicit funds were channeled through lawyers’ accounts.
The funds were subsequently used to buy assets or withdrawn in cash presumably for the owners.
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka together with Director General Mary Chirwa-Tshuma launched the 2017 Trends Report.