THE Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has frozen 55 bank accounts worth over $30.3 million, K292.9 million and 106,85 Euros held with eight commercial banks.
FIC Acting Director General Liya Tembo said the institution had also learnt a named company was paid K70 million during the election period.
Ms Tembo said the cash transactions increased just before elections as the company was paid the amount to facilitate elections.
Fifty-five bank accounts worth over $30.3m, K292.9m and 106, 85 Euros held with eight commercial banks were frozen by FIC.
Ms. Tembo said 211 transactions reports were analysed in 2021 with the majority of the cases being suspicious unusual cash transactions. She also said the number of currency transaction reports last year increased to 144, 000 and 45, 852 cases compared to 129, 826 in 2020.
Ms. Tembo was speaking during the launch of the seventh money laundering and terrorism financial trends report in Lusaka yesterday.
“The FIC has reported a 13 percent increase in the number of suspicious financial transactions for the year 2021 involving K3.56 billion, from 145, 852 currency transactions compared to K3.14 billion recorded in 2020 from 129, 826 cash transactions,” she said.
She said 44 intelligence reports were disseminated to law enforcement agencies who stated that they were still investigating the majority of the cases.
Ms. Tembo said the main perpetrators were prominent influential persons, private individuals and legal persons who in many cases used cash as a mode of payment.
The FIC also noted the use of gatekeepers to conceal beneficial ownership and investment of laundered funds in construction, real estate and offshore centres.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha said the country could not win the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial and economic crimes if institutions of government that fight these vices worked in isolation.
Mr Kabesha said this at the launch of the seventh money laundering and financing terrorism trends report produced by the FIC.
Mr Kabesha said government institutions involved in the fight against financial and economic crimes must cooperate for meaningful results to be attained.
He said cooperation among stakeholders which includes the citizens was important because it was not only about the investigative agencies to take the lead but even ordinary citizens.
Mr Kabesha also said money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes like corruption carry a number of adverse micro economic consequences that could lead to the reduction in the level of competition in certain business activities which generate large volumes of cash.
He said the report had pertinent information that could be used by both the public and the private sector in the quest to detect, prevent and detour money laundering, terrorism financing and other crimes.