FIC is part of international financial infrastructure, disbanding it will have consequences – Simumba

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Simumba

Renowned economist Trevor Simumba says the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is established under International Law and any attempt by the PF government to disband it would land the country into serious problems.

There have been sustained calls from the ruling PF to disband the FIC since it went public with its 2017 report which reveals that Zambia lost K4.5 billion to illicit financial transactions.

The ruling party and its surrogates claim the FIC and its Director General Mary Tshuma broke the law by revealing intelligence information to the public.

Reacting to the anti-FIC campaign by the PF, Simumba says the FIC is part of international financial infrastructure and is backed by International Conventions and protocols.

“The Zambia Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is established under International Law and is part of the global network of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). It is backed by International Conventions and protocols.

“In the last few years, a number of international conventions have recognized the usefulness of FIUs in modern anti-money-laundering systems and have encouraged the member states of the UN that are parties to these conventions to establish FIUs. Zambia is a party to these Conventions,” Simumba explained.

He added: “These are (in the order in which they were opened for signature), the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999), the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (2001), and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (2003).

“The IMF have published a handbook on FIUs available for download on their website. Please read and understand the importance of having an FIU.”

He warned of serious consequences on the country’s economy if the public harassment of the FIC continues.

“The continued harassment of the FIC by ill-informed desperate minions is not helpful to the country.

“Any political decision to either disband FIC or to interfere in its work will land Zambia in serious problem and the country would be in breach of international conventions,” Simumba explained, adding that it would also lead to serious sanctions on the country’s banking system making it difficult for Zambians to transact internationally.

“There are real consequences for the country’s economy. Stop the public harassment of the FIC. We should be uniting against the criminal and corrupt cartels that have captured our State and its institutions,” he stated.

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