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Bankers and the Financial Intelligence Centre forge links to combat money laundering

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

THE Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) is working closely with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) in combating money laundering and terrorist financing activities through the commercial banking sector.

Money laundering has a wide range of adverse effects on any country’s economic, political, and social structures, says BAZ Public Relations Officer, Miriam Zimba.

Ms Zimba said since laundered money passed through the financial system and had several effects on the financial systems as a whole and banks in particular.

She said the funds used in money laundering activities were generated by criminal activities such as drug trafficking or terrorist financing, organised crime, tax-evading, political bribery, amongst other criminal activities.

The money, Ms Zimba said, many times appear to have come from a legitimate source.

She said this in her write-up on Money Laundering.

The money from criminal activities is considered “dirty” and the process “launders” it to make it look “clean” or “legit”. In this regard, financial institutions, in particular, banks provide a conduit through which money (including laundered money) flows.

“Because of this, the financial system is the focal point of anti-money laundering initiatives because dirty money is most visible when it is first introduced into the financial system,” she said.

Ms Zimba however said although the money laundering process seemed complicated, it usually followed a traceable pattern. She explained that three distinct stages could be identified as placemen, layering and integration stages.

“By way of the role played by FIC, BAZ closely works with FIC in efforts to combating money laundering and terrorist financing activities through the commercial banking sector,” Ms Zimba said.

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