Financial Intelligence Center defends publication of its reports

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Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Director General Mary Chirwa has maintained that the release of its annual trends reports to the public is within its mandate.

Yesterday, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Commissioner General Alita Mbahwe accused the FIC of jeopardizing criminal investigations by making its reports public.

Mbahwe said FIC reports contain raw intelligence data that is meant for exclusive use by law enforcement agencies and not members of the public, further pointing out that publishing such information tends to alert perpetrators who begin to destroy vital evidence.

Speaking to journalists a press briefing in Lusaka, Mbahwe complained that the publication of FIC reports has created an impression that law enforcement agencies are incompetent.

But Chirwa told ZNBC News in a telephone interview yesterday that the report is a result of strategic analysis and does not contain sensitive or confidential information.

Chirwa also said the institution has only distributed the same report to the President, public and various stakeholders .

She explained that the FIC adds value to suspicious transaction report which are only distributed to the law enforcement agencies depending on the underlying crime that has been identified .

Chirwa said Government should be praised for the work that the FIC is doing because it clearly shows that President Edgar Lungu is not interfering with its operations and further urged the public to read the law.

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