Zambia News

DEC seizes 41 accounts with Combined Balances of K200 million and US$19 million

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) seized over 40 bank and mobile money accounts last year that had balances of roughly US$19 million and K200 million on suspicion that they were being used as criminal proceeds.

In the completion of five money laundering court cases during the same time period last year, the commission lost approximately K1.3 million and US$148,743 to the State.

In addition, 113 people were detained by the law enforcement for a variety of base offenses and money laundering totaling approximately K347 million.

This is based on the commission’s 2022 annual statistics for the unit responsible for conducting anti-money laundering investigations.

Hussein Khan, the DEC’s public relations representative, stated in a statement that the commission confiscated 41 commercial bank accounts with a combined bank balance of K174, 035,940.13 and US$19,777,181.33.

“The commissioner seized various mobile money accounts with a total balance of ZMW10, 045,240.87 and cash amounting to K4, 109,242.47,” Mr Khan said.

Three Toyota Landcruisers, as well as an EP263 Rubber Pneumatic Tyre Roller, an Ingersoll Drum Compactor, and a JCB Excavator, have been seized by the commission and will be forfeited to the State.

According to Mr. Khan, the law enforcement agency has a total of 66 cases that have led to the arrest of 113 people on suspicion of different money laundering and predicate offenses.

“Some of the dockets have been processed and the suspects are appearing before the Courts of Law while others are still being considered for possible prosecution by the NPA [National Prosecutions Authority],” he said.

Mr Khan said a total amounts involved in the 66 cases where arrests have were made is K347, 955,017.45.

“In 2022, the unit actively investigated a total of 1,093 cases countrywide.

“Out of these cases, 66 were closed by arrests, 49 closed by other headings and 17 cases were referred to other law enforcement agencies for further investigations,” he said.

Mr Khan said as of December 31, last year, the anti-money laundering unit had 961 active cases.

“The commission re-affirms its commitment in combatting financial crimes and money laundering for a safer Zambia.

“We urge members of the public to join hands with the Commission in fighting the vices of illicit drug trafficking and money laundering in the country,” he said.

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