GOVERNMENT has moved in to plug leakages in various sectors of the economy after the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development acquired modern equipment to fight sophisticated financial crimes.
The equipment which was handed over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last week is meant to bolster the police’s investigations into money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
In recent years, Zimbabwe has been found wanting in fighting sophisticated financial crimes such as illicit financial flows.
The equipment was procured under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development’s capacity building budget for Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Proliferation Financing (PF).
Professor Ncube said the equipment, which includes modern software, will allow law enforcement agencies to share intelligence safely.
“I am advised that while the police are expected to timeously share information with the FIU through the AML platform, this has been hampered by lack of computers and associated accessories,” he said.
“It is thus envisaged that the computers being handed over today will enable effective communication between the FIU and the police as well as enhance the operational efficiency of the Commercial Crimes division of the ZRP.
“Deployment of these resources towards AML activities will not only enhance communication but will help in plugging leakages in various sectors of the economy, thereby strengthening the integrity and security of the financial sector.”
He said capacitating the law enforcement agencies is in compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Taskforce, which seeks to ensure that competent authorities have adequate resources including financial investigation tools to manage their work and address money laundering risks adequately.
“In this regard, let me assure the FIU and all agencies involved in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing that my Ministry will continue to support endeavours to protect the country against money laundering and financing of terrorism activities,” Professor Ncube said.
FIU Director-General Oliver Chiperesa said the equipment will allow police officers to share information securely on the country’s intelligence platforms.
“We are grateful your office has responded positively to our request, when we approached your office to provide ICT communication tools to our police counterparts
“The equipment is meant for use by relevant units of the ZRP’s commercial crimes division to among other things facilitate speedy and secure communication and exchange of intelligence reports and other information.”
Studies show that Zimbabwe has lost over US$32 billion in illicit financial flows over the past two decades.