The 2019 Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Report has revealed that public officials with access to payment systems abused their positions and embezzled K4 million of government funds by creating fictitious accounts onto the system as employees and paid them monthly salaries.
Meanwhile, lawyers and accounts continue to be used for money laundering activities, with some identified accountants using falsified statements to place funds in offshore accounts.
The proceeds were used to purchase various properties.
FIC has recommended that government, through Smart Zambia, should develop mechanism for biometric identification to establish existence and accuracy of payroll records.
And in 2019, a trend continued where gatekeepers services were exploited for illegal activities.
“In the case of some identified accountants, it included use of falsified financial statements to place funds in offshore centers and to tender for public procurement projects,” FIC reports.
Bank accounts for some identified law firms and their clients were also used to launder proceeds of crime, it has been revealed.
The Center has collaborated with professional bodies such as Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) with a view to improve the Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (CFTP) framework among their membership.
“This has resulted in members requesting for training to build capacity. It also led to signing of a MoU with ZICA in 2019 and the designation of compliance officers by some of the reporting entities supervised by the two professional bodies,” FIC states and recommends that LAZ and ZICA should effectively supervise lawyers and accountants to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism.