Meanwhile, the commission has recorded a reduction in drug related offences during the quarter under review.
In a statement, DEC public relations officer Theresa Katongo stated that the Anti-money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) received a total of forty-seven reports during the first quarter of 2019 while thirty-five people were arrested from fourteen cases involving a total of K13, 937, 421.61 and $199, 300 US dollars.
“The Commission further arrested eight (8) people for being in possession of counterfeit notes amounting to K6, 600 and $100 respectively. Meanwhile, sixteen (16) convictions were recorded in cases under the Anti-money Laundering Investigations Unit during the quarter under review,” Katongo stated.
“Common trends observed included an increase in theft by public servant and fraudulent false accounting as predicate offences to money laundering while other typologies noted include increases in self and third party money laundering mostly involving the acquisition of real estate and motor vehicles in the names of the suspects and other persons.”
On drug-related offences, she stated that the first quarter of 2019 recorded 1,279 arrests countrywide, representing a seven per cent reduction from 1, 376 arrests recorded in the same period in 2018.
“Out of the total arrests recorded for drug related offences, 1, 206 comprised males and seventy-three (73) females. The total arrests also included 78 juveniles. Further, of the total arrests, 171 convictions were recorded with 112 cases disposed of through other legal provisions while 996 cases were still pending at various stages of the court process at the end of the quarter under review. The Commission seized cannabis plants, herb and seeds totalling 13.47 tons, compared to 24.76 tons recorded in the same period in 2018, thereby representing a reduction of 45.6% while other seizures included miraa (1.88 tons), ephedrine (7.29Kgs), heroin (7.7 Kgs) and cocaine (0.06 Kgs),” Katongo stated. “Notable trends unearthed during the quarter included the increase in trafficking of dry miraa from Ethiopia through Zambia as a transit country to Europe, North America, South Africa, Namibia and Angola by identified cartels.”
And Katongo stated that the reduction in demand for drugs resulted from the Commission’s awareness campaigns.
“The Commission through the National Education Campaign Division (NECD) conducted a total of 685 awareness activities from which a total of 130, 051 people were sensitised through institutions of learning, community and workplace programmes as part of the drug demand reduction strategy. Further, the Commission attended to 251 clients aged between 13 and 44 years under the counselling and reintegration programme, with the primary drugs of abuse being cannabis, alcohol, heroin and codeine,” stated Katongo.