Money laundering is a criminal activity, especially when done illegally and the source of money is unlawful. The FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre), an intelligence bureau from Zambia recently unearthed a mass money-laundering racket involving prominent lawyers from Zambia. This is a huge revelation in Zambia’s corruption history because the number of high-profile individuals involved in this racket is huge.
The inquiry started after FIC started looking into suspicious activities and cash transactions linked to individual and corporate bank accounts. These transactions amounted to more than USD 1 billion in value and resulted in a mass investigation of the people involved. Masozi M. Banda is a lawyer from Avik international topping this list of names involved in money laundering scheme. As per the FIC, he has been laundering money to the dictator of Zambian dictator Edgar Lungu. Banda has defended himself by contesting that the money is for road and similar government contracts. However, the FIC is not going to let go easily since the amount involved in these activities is huge and many other lawyers, as well as law firms, have given similar excuses.
Another big revelation is the involvement of known lawyers and law firms. Some of them are Makebi Zulu, Shamwana & Company and Central Chambers. The most surprising part in these is that many of these law firms and lawyers are working for top government officials and even ministers of Zambian government. This level of corruption across the Zambian politics and economy is truly heartbreaking. The Central Chambers which has been caught for money laundering activities, a law firm owned by Sakwiba Sikota. It is a known fact that Sikota is the legal counselor for the Ventriglias and handles almost all of their cases. While rest of the news is surely shocking, this one is not as Sikota has been questioned for illicit activities before too.
The FIC will release new updates as and when investigation intensifies.