The Financial Intelligence Centre(FIC) has reported a 13 per cent 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.
FIC Acting Director General Liya Tembo says 44 intelligence reports were disseminated to law enforcement agencies who stated that they are still investigating the majority of the cases.
Mrs. Tembo said that 211 suspicious transactions reports were analyzed in 2021 with the majority of the cases being suspicious unusual cash transactions.
She further noted that the number of currency transaction reports last year increased to 144,000 and 45,852 cases compared to 129,826 in 2020.
Mrs. Tembo was speaking during the launch of the 7th money laundering and terrorism financial trends report in Lusaka today.
She 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 centre also noted the use of gatekeeper to conceal beneficial ownership and investment of laundered funds in construction, real estate and offshore centers.
The FIC report themed: Cash bonanza has also established that Zambia remains very susceptible to money laundering and other associated financial crimes.
And Mrs. Tembo revealed that FIC this year fined one reporting entity for non reporting of suspicious transactions. She said 55 bank accounts worth over $30.3m, K292.9m and 106,85 Euros held with eight commercial banks were frozen by FIC.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, who is also Chairperson of the Anti Money Laundering Authority, called for concerted efforts in the fight against corruption because it literally kills people where services are not provided.
Mr Kabesha also advised traditional leaders to stay away from giving solidarity to suspects of financial crimes which has been witnessed lately.