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FIC exposes mines’ tax rip off’

By AARON CHIYANZO

SOME mines in Zambia are repatriating proceeds to offshore jurisdictions while declaring losses to evade tax, the 2019 Financial Intelligence Centre 6th Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Trends Report has revealed.

The report also disclosed that some precious stones and base metals that were exported to foreign jurisdictions were undervalued.

According to the report, the FIC disseminated 44 intelligence reports to law enforcement agencies with suspected losses valued at K984 million compared to the ZMW 6.1 billion reported in 2018 from 80 intelligence reports disseminated.

FIC Director General, Mary Chirwa also said in her introductory message that Government continued to lose revenue through laundered funds which negatively affect revenue mobilisation necessary for provision of public goods and services.

Ms Chirwa said as a result of the disseminations made by the FIC, the Zambia Revenue Aauthority (ZRA) assessed taxes amounting to K27.7m in 2019, compared to K62m in 2018.

She said in the period under review, 99 percent of the Suspicious Transaction Reports received came from the financial institutions with the banking sector accounting for 89.5 percent of the reports. 

Ms Chirwa said the FIC received 149, 625 Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) in 2019 compared to 75, 592 CTRs received in 2018 representing a 98 percent increase.

“The other type of report the FIC receives are the Cross Border Currency Declaration Reports (CBDR). In 2019, 1, 126 CBDRs were received by the FIC compared to 2, 169 reports in 2018.

“The Centre further receives Cross Border Currency Declaration Reports (CBDR). In 2019, a total of 1, 126 CBDRs were received by the FIC amounting to US$72m compared to 2, 169 reports in 2018 amounting to US$102m. Of these reports, 96 percent were from Kasumbalesa border post and were declarations made by Congolese nationals,” she said.

Ms Chirwa said during the period under review, the FIC received 790 reports comprising 748 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 42 Spontaneous Disclosure Reports (SDRs).

She said this compares to 799 reports received in 2018 comprising 724 STRs and 75 SDRs. 

Ms Chirwa said of the total STRs received in 2019, 101 were analysedout of which 44 were disseminated and 57 were closed as there were no reasonable grounds for dissemination.

“One of the major drivers for generation of proceeds of crime is corruption associated with public procurement. During the period under review, STRs received related to procurement corruption reduced,” Ms Chirwa said

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