The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), and the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) have intensified investigations into eight individuals implicated in the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia four-part documentary series.
This comes amid concerns that Zimbabwe risks violating the strict regulations of the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT), an international policy-making and standard-setting body dedicated to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
Zimbabwe has made the necessary reforms to address its money laundering and terrorist financing weaknesses and has been removed from the grey list by FAFT.
FIU director general Oliver Chiperesa told Business Times that they are working with law enforcement agencies to identify assets and analyse transactions to establish possible links to crime. He said:
The interim measures were also taken while monitoring and analysing the documentary episodes as they came out to see if there was further information that could potentially be used in criminal investigations.
After all the episodes, we are now sitting down with other relevant agencies and evaluating what is available, and deciding on the next course of action.
The FIU will not make a decision alone but in close consultation with law enforcement agencies as we always do.
FIU has ordered the freezing of assets and accounts belonging to Ewan McMillan, Kamlesh Pattni, Uebert Mudzanire (aka Angel), and Simon Rudland. Said Chiperesa:
The freezing is not a seizure of the funds or assets but simply an interim measure and a precaution to ensure that potential proceeds of crime are not disposed of or transferred before law enforcement agents can commence possible investigations.
It is important to emphasise that what is there at the moment are largely allegations and suspicions.
Angel, who is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special envoy and ambassador-at-large to Europe and the Americas, and a preacher, was secretly filmed by undercover Al Jazeera reporters offering to use his diplomatic cover to launder large volumes of cash into Zimbabwe as part of a gold smuggling operation.
He and his side-kick Rikki Doolan were also seen repeatedly name-dropping President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name.
The United Kingdom’s upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords, wants the British government to probe the allegations of criminal activity against its citizen, Angel.
Source – Business Times / Pindula