Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Panonetsa Mangudya recent Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) saw the apex bank boss instruct bank directors to fully acquaint themselves with their responsibilities in regard to Anti Money Laundering – Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML – CFT) issues.
As articulated in the AML – CFT risk-based guideline, the Governor’s latest instructions have seen four firms having their accounts frozen by the RBZ Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU).
RBZ froze the companies’ Bank Accounts For Money Laundering.The minimum standards on Anti Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism saw RBZ FIU ordering the freezing of bank accounts for four companies after detecting money laundering activities.
The affected entities are: Transerv, Powerspeed Investments, Electrosales, Halsted Brothers Ltd and Enbee Store.
The central bank is in an overdrive to rein in market indiscipline which has seen businesses taking advantage of lax regulations to profiteer while in the process manipulating the exchange rates to their benefit.
Last week a Chinese restaurant, Shangri-La was slapped with a US$30 000 fine for pegging prices way ahead of the official exchange rates.
Despite generating huge profits from such malpractices, Zimbabwean businesses remain reluctant to pay corresponding salaries and submit their taxable dues accordingly.
In a statement, the FIU Director General (DG) Tichafa Chigaba said the move was prompted after noting unusual activity indicating money laundering schemes.
“As we carry out further investigations on possible money laundering relating to the funds you are directed to freeze the account with immediate effect and you shall not process any withdrawals or transfers from the accounts, unless with the specific approval of the unit,” said the unit’s DG.
FIU however allowed deposits and other flows into the account but ordered corresponding banks to immediately report to the unit any deposit and other inflows into the account as well as any attempted withdrawal or transfer from the account.
“Please acknowledge receipt of this directive in writing confirming that you have frozen the account and confirming the account balance as at the date of freezing,” said the FIU DG.