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New pact to fight financial crimes

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) on Monday teamed up with seven other institutions to fight financial crimes in the country.

The seven include the Office the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Malawi Police Service, the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), National Intelligence Service, Malawi Revenue Authority(MRA), the Immigration Department and the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

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The eight institutions signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on intelligence sharing, Investigations and prosecution of financial crimes.

RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said currently cases that are in the courts are in the excess of K30 billion of foreign exchange that has been externalised, with nearly K1 billion being forfeited to the government through cases that have been concluded.

“We are seeing that with many people doing businesses in the country. Some of them are not repatriating whatever they have earned or bringing back what should have come into the country.

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“There have also been lots of cases where people have alleged that they want to buy something outside the country when all they want is to get more foreign exchange than the actual value of what has been imported,” Kabambe said.

He added: “We have formed a steering committee which will be meeting at heads of institutions on quarterly basis but also below the heads of institutions we have the technical committee that will be working together jointly in order that we stop all this criminality.”

Director of Public Prosecutions, Mary Kachale, said the partnership will go a long way in ensuring speedy prosecution of cases as prosecutors will be working hand in hand with the investigators.

“Malawians have been complaining about delays in prosecution of high-profile cases. What they didn’t know is that, sometimes, these delays were coming from the fact that investigative agencies would investigate and think the case is concluded and bring it to a prosecutor who would analyse the evidence and realise that there are gaps that need to be filled before going to court. This MoU is addressing that,” Kachale said.

Some of the cases under prosecution include the $20 million Cotton Ginners case, the $17 million Mahomed Amad case, the $8 million Bus tickets case and the $2 million Rafic Ahmed case.

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