By JULIUS PHIRI –
Zambia like any other country is not immune to money laundering and terrorist financed activities, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo has said.
Mr Kasolo said that the effects of money laundering and terrorists financing on society and general economic growth are adverse.
He said this during an anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorist awareness workshop in Chipata yesterday.
Mr Kasolo said tainted money adversely affected the productive sectors of the economy in numerous ways that hinged on derailing progressive steps.
“The financial sector as well as designated non-financial businesses and professions are particularly hurt if used for laundering of ill-gotten proceeds,” he said.
He said the adverse consequences for institutions included reputation, operational, legal and concentration risks.
The PS said society as a whole had the burden of bearing the costs of money laundering in various retrogressive ways.
He said unchecked money laundering enabled criminals to enjoy profits of their crimes who in turn committed more crimes.
“When there are more frauds and robberies in banks, depositors will receive less return on their deposits and will have to pay higher interest rates on their loans,” he said.
Mr Kasolo added that when public projects were inflated by corruption, citizens suffered due to higher tax obligations.
He said the acts further distorted equitable distribution of wealth and caused an increase in the incidence of poverty.
Terrorism in all its forms and facets was one of the greatest challenges of today’s world.
“One of the key measures to check terrorism is to block financial resources flowing towards perpetrators of terrorist acts like counter the financing of terrorism,” he said.
He said Government was committed to protecting the nation from such financial crimes.
Government would like to see the financial intelligence centre maintain a good working relationship with other stakeholders as well as its overseas counterparts in tackling money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.