Zambia’s Single biggest cash movement occurred in 2013
Suspicious Transaction of US$462 million was transferred from Citi Bank Newyork to Stanbic Bank Zambia in 2013
This week the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released what it termed the FinCEN Files, which is an investigation that reveals the role of global banks in industrial-scale money laundering and the bloodshed and suffering that flow in its wake.
The transactions were flagged by financial institutions as suspicious to United States authorities. The transactions were dated from 2000 to 2017.
Freelance journalist, Chamwe Kaira looks at what the files said about Zambia.
The ICIJ investigations show that a suspicious US$462 million was transferred from Citi Bank N.A in the United States to Stanbic Bank Zambia between 25 October 2013 and 22 August 2014.
This was the biggest transaction recorded in Zambia under the suspicious files. Another transaction of US$6 million was transferred from Deutsche Bank AG to Standard Chartered Bank Zambia Limited between 6 December and 30 May 2012.
It is not clear who sent the money from Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank AG to Zambia, who received it in Zambia and what it was used for. This information can only be revealed by the Bank of Zambia, Stanbic Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
The same report show that US$11 million was transferred in what the report termed as suspicious transactions from Zambia to other countries during the period 2000 to 2017.
Zambia recorded 159 suspicious transactions, according to data extracted from the FinCEN Files. The transactions were processed through US banks and were transferred between the US, Zambia and seven other countries.
The banks named in the report as having received or transferred suspicious transactions include Finance Bank of Zambia, First National Bank SAL based in Beirut and Standard Chartered.
According to the data, the US$11 million transferred from Zambia went to banks like First National Bank SAL , Société Générale de Banque au Liban, Bank of Beirut Arab, Commercial Bank of Dubai , Emirates, Nbd Bank PJSC, Hong Kong Shanghai, Bank Danamon Indonesia PT.
The data by FinCEN Files contains information on more than US$35 billion in transactions worldwide dating from 2000 to 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions as suspicious to United States authorities.
The data provides information about the US based “correspondent” banks that allow financial institutions in more than 150 countries and territories to process payments in US dollars.
The records include more than 2 100 suspicious activity reports filed by nearly 90 financial institutions to the United States’ Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.
The documents were shared by BuzzFeed News with ICIJ and 108 media partners in 88 countries and include information on more than US$2 trillion in transactions dated from 1999-2017 that had been flagged by the banks as suspicious.
To extract as much information as possible from the narratives of the suspicious activity reports in FinCEN Files, ICIJ, BuzzFeed News and media partners collaborated to manually collate data on transactions and correspondent connections from each report. The team working on this data extraction involved more than 85 journalists