By AARON CHIYANZO
THE Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has failed to deny reports that it paid US$10 million for a surveillance system worth US$ 2 million and has been paying US$2.5 million a year for maintenance, resulting in a cumulative payment of US$18 million to date.
According to information provided to the Daily Nation, the agency paid the US$10 million in 2017 for a system that has not been fully installed because spy towers, probes, and the network system have never been installed.
The FIC apparently abandoned a powerful system which was bought in 2012/2013 called the “IBM i2 Intelligence System” which is the same system that the Pentagon and the CIA used to track down terrorist financing, in preference for the new Israeli system whose suppliers have now vanished.
The true price of the intelligence management system is US$ 2 million and not US$10 million. The difference of US$ 8 million reportedly went into kickbacks.
The new information follows a story that the Daily Nation published last week that a vendor paid US$2.5 million for a surveillance system had disappeared.
An informed source explained that the US$2.5 million was the annual maintenance fee of the defective system whose full capacity was to tap into people’s phone calls, read WhatsApp SMS massages and Skype calls among others.
However, the system was reportedly not “FIT-for-PURPOSE” and that there was no justification supported by a thorough business case to install such a system as per the ICT Governance principals at the Centre. The ICT Department was allegedly never consulted as experts on the matter.
The named company based in Israel is alleged to have been paying kickbacks to some public officials at FIC and Ministry of Finance into offshore accounts.
The source explained that “it is clear that FIC has been acting outside their legal mandate by Tapping into peoples phone calls, reading WhatsApp SMS massages, Skype calls and further carrying out Investigations. Remember FIC is not a Law Enforcement Agency. Its mandate is limited to analyzing and disseminating STRs to LEA. The System they installed for USD10mllion taps into peoples phone calls, read massages among other things instead of carrying out analysis and monitoring of suspicious transaction reports as per their legal mandate”.
It is clear that the FIC has been acting outside their legal mandate by Tapping into people’s phone calls, reading WhatsApp SMS massages, Skype calls and further carrying out Investigations.
The FIC is not a Law Enforcement Agency. Its mandate is limited to analysing and disseminating suspicious transactions to law enforcement agencies.