Politics

SIMATA CAUTIONS FIC

By AARON CHIYANZO

LEAKING of information by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is injurious to suspected persons and prevents law enforcement agencies from carrying out thorough investigations, a financial expert Simata Simata has said.

Mr Simata said FIC was operating like an alarmist as most of the information it was feeding the public was not conclusive.

He said in an interview that law enforcement agencies were also finding it hard to thoroughly investigate suspicious transactions from the Centre because suspects were alerted and end up destroying  evidence.

Mr Simata said considering the manner FIC publicizes information on suspicious transactions, it portrays suspects as being guilty even before they were prosecuted by the courts of law.

“Imagine a situation where a husband is seen standing with another woman under a tree. Without verifying who the woman is, you rush to the wife and report that he is with another women. The wife also tells the family that the man is cheating. After questioning him later, they discover it was the sister he was standing with,” he said.

Mr Simata said the damage that was caused as a result of alarming the public falsely was great and difficult to reverse.

He said the Centre should operate in a manner that does not injure the persona of citizens who have not been found guilty of wrong doing and  warned that such actions  interfere with operations of other investigate wings.

“These monies that are being announced by FIC are not conclusive, they are just suspicious transactions but the problem is that the Centre does not portray them as such. They are being publicized as illegalities already concluded,” Mr Simata said.

And Mr Simata cautioned the Centre to ensure that it does not abrogate set international standards with regards the manner in which it was disseminating information on suspicious transactions because that would be costly for the country.

He explained that Financial Intelligent Centres affiliate with international bodies which set standards by which they were supposed to operate.

Mr Simata said failure to abide by the standards comes with repercussions for the country especially when law enforcement agencies were restricted from operating smoothly.

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