The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) and the Financial Intelligence Authority (Fia) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening information sharing between the two institutions in the fight against money laundering.
Icam Chief Executive Officer Francis Chinjoka Gondwe said the signing of the agreement formalises the working relations between the two institutions.
Gondwe said, over the years, Icam had delayed in investigating some of its members suspected to have been involved in fraudulent or money laundering activities due to lack of evidence or information.
“What happens is that sometimes our investigations do stall because the matters are in court; therefore, the people concerned may not be willing to divulge the information.
“But, through this formalised arrangement with Fia, it means we will still be able to investigate our members using the information from the Fia while the courts are handling their part,” Gondwe said.
Fia acting Director General Vincent Chipeta said the signing of the MoU with Icam is a significant step in the fight against fraud and money laundering in the country.
Chipeta said the agreement means that the Fia now has a wider pool of information sources than has been the case in the past.
Fiawas established under the Section 3(1) of the Financial Crimes Act (FCA) as the principal national agency responsible for preventing and combating financial crimes.
Some of the functions of the Fia, as set out under Section 4 of the FCA, include requesting, receiving and analysing reports submitted by reporting institutions; submitting reports to relevant law enforcement agencies or supervisory authorities based on financial intelligence analysis; as well as creating and maintaining a database of statistics and records on anti-money laundering activities and combating the financing of terrorism.