Chairperson of the Financial Intelligence Centre, John Kasanga, has revealed that some members of staff have received threats on their lives from people whose questionable financial transactions were being tracked.
Kasanga during a programme n Prime TV last night that FIC did not deal in raw information but well-concretised intelligence such that some of those involved in wrong doing resort to issuing threats on the Centre’s personnel.
The Drug Enforcement Commission last week rubbished the FIC 2018 Trends Report, with its commissioner Alita Mbahwe alleging that most of what was contained was inconclusive.
“These people who commit such crimes deal with a lot of money. They would rather clamp down on those likely to expose them. They [FIC staff] are exposed to threats on their personal lives; sometimes direct threats. Because they are focused on working for this country, they risk their lives,” Kasanga disclosed.
“It is extremely important that we all work towards a common objective of getting [reducing] these crimes. The FIC does not disseminate raw data nor does it include raw data in its Trends report.”
He asked President Edgar Lungu and his ministers in government to support and protect the institution as well the work it is doing because it belongs to the state.
The FIC has come under criticism from government officials and the Drug Enforcement Commission for its revelations of suspicious transactions in the 2018 Trends Report amounting to K6.1 billion.
Owing to this, Kasanga feels those cited to have committed wrongs feel protected when government officials criticize the work of the FIC.
“I would urge everyone, including his excellency the President and ministers, you may have problems with the FIC [but] it is your institution. Protect it…It is an institution set up by government to work for the good of Zambia,” Kasanga said.
“We receive a lot of suspicious reports but not all of them result in dossiers. Where it is established that there is a prima facie offense committed, information is packaged with the details of those involved and we give relevant law enforcement agencies that act on them.”
He also revealed that President Lungu had been very supportive of the work of the FIC.
“He has challenged law enforcement agencies not to wait for him but act on corruption. It is the role of investigative agencies to investigate corruption, not FIC. We are an administrative financial intelligence centre,” Kasanga said.
He also talked about the politically exposed person alleged to have built 49 houses from suspected proceeds of crime as highlighted in the FIC report.
“The names those houses are registered under are there. FIC is blind when it comes to affiliation of a person involved. We follow the money. If a crime has been committed, a crime has been committed. Let’s not talk about who has committed a crime,” said Kasanga.