Institutions to Fight Against Financial Crimes

By Patricia Kapulul-MANA

Eight institutions have joined hands to eliminate heinous acts of illegal foreign currency externalization and transfer pricing through a Memorandum of Understanding executed in Lilongwe on Monday.

Illegal foreign externalization entails the transfer or attempted transfer of foreign currency out of Malawi without following proper procedures whereas transfer pricing refers to the setting of prices for goods and services exchanged within a legal enterprise, its subsidiaries or affiliates.

The eight institutions are the Malawi Police Service, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), Immigration Department, National Intelligence Service (NIS), Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe said each stakeholder has specific roles and responsibilities and shall all collaborate in intelligence sharing, investigation and prosecution of all financial crimes in order to curb this malpractice.

“As law enforcement agencies, we are saying a big no to illegal foreign currency externalization, transfer pricing and money laundering.

“Under the MOU, the taskforce will ensure that every dollar made from the country’s exports is retained in the country and that every remittance is in respect of payment for bonafide offshore payment,” he said.

In order to achieve this, the taskforce shall utilize all legal means necessary including the RBM Tip-Offs Anonymous and take to task all perpetrators.

However, Kabambe said the success of the fight rests in the cooperation of every Malawian.

“We should all hold hands together and report companies or individuals involved in the malpractice for the good of our nation,” he appealed.

Inspector General of Police, Rodney Jose expressed commitment that police will not condone this malpractice and will take action on any person involved be it police officers.

Chief Immigration Officer, Masauko Nedi hailed the MOU saying it would enhance information sharing, investigation and prosecution.

For the past 54 years since independence, Malawi has experienced massive plunder of foreign exchange due to illegal foreign currency externalization and transfer pricing which have greatly undermined the country’s economic development.