Source: Govt steps up probe into diamond money saga | The Herald May 25, 2016
Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
As investigations intensify into the search for missing diamond funds, Government has written to six countries where millions realised from diamond mining activities in Zimbabwe were allegedly externalised by Jinan Mining (Pvt) Limited, seeking mutual legal assistance in the investigation of the matter.
The multi-million dollar externalisation saga saw cash being transferred to various bank accounts in the United Arab Emirates, China, Zambia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the money was first transferred from BancABC Zimbabwe account to another account with the same bank in Botswana.
However, the money was never used in Botswana.
Instead, investigations made so far show that the money was later transferred to various bank accounts in the six countries.
The National Prosecuting Authority, represented by national director of public prosecution, Mrs Florence Ziyambi, has sought mutual legal assistance from the six countries.
In the letters in question, Zimbabwe wants the authorities in the relevant countries to assist with investigating the bank transfers to establish the account holders and several other details required for the purposes of prosecuting the suspects.
Zimbabwe is investigating Jinan and its directors, Bai Xiangqian, Bei Bei Ma and Qingde Jiang in connection with the externalisation saga.
BancABC Zimbabwe, which also effected the transfers is also under police investigation.
In terms of the law, for police to carry out their investigations extra-territorially, they need assistance of the countries involved.
Police officers from the countries in question may carry out investigations and record statements from witnesses on behalf of the local police.
The evidence gathered by foreign investigators will be used in the prosecution of the suspects back in Zimbabwe.
In terms of Section 10 of the Criminal Matters (Mutual Assistance) Act of Zimbabwe, the Prosecutor General may request authority of a foreign country to arrange for evidence to be taken in the foreign countries.
Part of Mrs Ziyambi’s letters to the six countries reads:
“The competent authorities of the requested States are hereby requested to assist in the investigation of the details of the holders of the bank accounts and their beneficial owners.
“The disposal of the said money should target the beneficiaries of the disbursements, withdrawals or bank transfers.
“Lastly, it is requested that account opening details of the said bank accounts be retrieved also.”
Information gathered shows that $7 000 500 was transferred from Botswana to Mozambique.
Of the $7 000 500, about $6 000 000 was transferred into Sogecoa Moz LDA’s BancABC account number 1356 6605 1029 in Maputo as investment.
A further $1 000 500 was transferred into Mozambique’s Millenium Bim (Corporate) Bank account number 2598 65038 in favour of China Anhui Foreign Economic Const LDA of Maputo.
A company called SOGECOA of Lusaka Zambia received $4 310 000 into its BancABC account from Botswana.
It was also gathered that a total of $39 444 614 was transferred into bank accounts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Some $335 076 000 was transferred into various bank accounts in China.
A disbursement of $676 800 was made into two bank accounts in Sierra Leone.