President Hakainde Hichilema has called for collaborative efforts by law enforcement agencies and adoption of innovative prosecuting techniques in the fight against economic and financial crime.
President Hichilema says criminal networks have become increasingly sophisticated in their activities by exploiting technological gaps, hence prosecutors should develop a range of strategies for digital, economic and financial crime investigation and prosecution.
The President said increased cross-agency collaboration should be taken as a priority for prosecuting economic and financial crimes in the digital era as they have become difficult to identify, investigate and prosecute.
President Hichilema said this in a speech read for him by Minister of Justice, Mulambo Haimbe during the official opening of the Inaugural National Prosecutors Conference in Livingstone today.
The Head of State emphasised on team work and creation of synergies for timely sharing information in the fight against crime.
“The nature and complexity of crime is ever changing and the crime threat that we face continues to grow and evolve. Criminal networks are becoming increasingly resilient and exploiting technology to unleash emerging types of crimes and are also developing new methods of committing new crimes. Therefore, there should be team work if the fight against crime is to be won,” he said.
The President further stated that there is need for knowledge, skills and continued development of prosecutors to effectively deal with emerging complex corruption, organised crimes and money laundering offences.
The Head of State added that investigating and prosecuting criminals should be done on an international scale as modern crimes do not end at the country’ borders.
“We need close collaboration between law enforcement agencies around the globe. Prosecutors need to work together to identify, investigate and prosecute transnational crimes,” he said.
He noted that prosecutorial excellence in the economic and financial crime in the digital era is cardinal if crimes are to be detected, investigated and effectively prosecuted.
Speaking at the same event, Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri has challenged prosecutors across the country to exercise excellence in handling cases.
Mr Phiri said prosecutors should not fear to prosecute anyone involved in criminal activities as no one is above the law.
“This conference has provided a platform for sharing best experiences and practices that can help to shape your expertise in dealing with these crimes,” he said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali has praised the government for its efforts in fighting economic and financial crimes in the country.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Alliance Africa (AGA), International Advisor John Edozie has called for utilisation of technological advancement in the fight against crime.