The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has confiscated about K100 million obtained fraudulently since 2017 when the Financial Crimes Act became effective.
FIA director general Atuweni Juwaweyi-Agbermodji said this on Monday on the sidelines of a workshop for magistrates aimed to sensitise them to the Financial Crimes Act to ensure successful prosecution of money laundering and terrorist financing cases.
She said the National Risk Assessment, which was concluded in May 2018, found that the judiciary unlike other law enforcement agencies has not had training on money laundering and terrorists financing; hence, a mismatch on how judges preside over cases and how prosecution is handled.
Juwaweyi-Agbermodji said the FIA created the Confiscated Fund Account where confiscated money is kept pending transfer to the justice system through law enforcement agencies.
She said: “The Cashgate cases should give you an idea how serious money laundering is in the country.
“The Act is clear that these funds are supposed to be used for purposes of the Act which interprets to mean law enforcement purposes and these resources will be used upon the approval of Parliament.”
Speaking earlier, High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale said challenges of fraud and money laundering are global and, as the Judiciary, they have a responsibility to enforce the law in line with international standards.
“The reason that people are involved in money laundering and any other financial crime is because they derive a financial benefit. Unless you have a legal regime that takes away the profits from crimes then you are not really addressing the issue,” he said.
Conference of Western Attorney generals (Cwag)-Africa Alliance Partnership (APP) board member Markus Green, whose institution is championing capacity building, said the aim is to jointly fight transnational crimes such as money laundering, human trafficking and crimes that cut across the borders. FIA was established to prevent and combat financial crimes through detecting and investigating the crimes and disseminating financial intelligence to law enforcement agencies.