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The court documents filed by EcoCash reveals that the FIU has not been quickly taking action when evidence of suspicious EcoCash agents was shown to them. EcoCash said that the FIU response rate to Agents identified to have been breaking laws left a lot to be desired.
One noteworthy instance happened recently where EcoCash submitted 17 names of suspicious Agents but FIU only replied to 5 submissions by simply asking for more information about the suspicious Agents. The rest of the submissions haven’t been replied to up to now. EcoCash said some of these submissions were made over a month ago.
On top of that, EcoCash said it made 68 submissions since the beginning of the year but it only got 22 responses from the FIU. You can read the full statement below:
We note that…..since implementation of the new limits we submitted 17 STRs and only five have been responded to with requests for additional information, the rest (12) we have not heard anything from you with some getting to a month old since submission. Prior to implementation of the new limits, since beginning of the year we submitted 68 STRs and got 22 responses with 1 case being referred to the police. In 2019 we submitted 100 and got 50 responses. Whilst we are fully aware of our obligation to detect and report and we will continue to do so, the low response rate can be disheartening and cause for concern to us especially when you then keep accusing us of not detecting and reporting cases of abuse of the platform.
In the court documents, EcoCash presents a table which shows the reasons why the 17 Agents should be subject to investigations but RBZ’s FIU didn’t take any action for over a month. Here are the tables:
The response rate by the FIU is simply appalling. Its as if they don’t have a sense of urgency given that it takes them months to investigate, let alone take action, suspicious transactions.
I doubt money launderers or unscrupulous Agents would ever be caught if the time of noticing their activities and taking action is far apart. The more time that is wasted on not taking action translates to more damage to the economy through the flourishing of the black market.
There’s an unbelievable chasm between what the FIU portrays to us than what they are actually doing when they have unscrupulous Agents within their grasp.