ZACC guns for US$7bn assets illicitly siphoned out of the country

AN estimated US$7 billion worth of assets were illicitly siphoned out of the country through corruption and money laundering and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is now ratcheting up measures to recover the ill-gotten gains.

ZACC has activated links with several international agencies to recover the loot, some of which is salted away in offshore bank accounts and trust funds.

Some of the externalised cash has been used to buy luxury properties and other assets.

Locally, ZACC has, this year alone, identified close to US$24 million worth of ill-gotten gains that could be up for forfeiture.

Over the past two years, ZACC has been on an unrelenting drive to seize assets that were accrued from proceeds of crime.

Assets that the anti-graft body seeks to recover include houses, residential stands, vehicles, or any other property attained from the proceeds of crime. Cash recoveries are also expected.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Mail, ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said official processes to recover the foreign-stashed loot have begun.

“The assets which were identified to have been acquired illicitly and externalised through corruption and money laundering from Zimbabwe to foreign jurisdictions are estimated at seven billion United States dollars (US$7 billion),” he said.

“Investigations through formal and informal co-operation processes have commenced for some of the identified assets.”

On the local front, ZACC and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have made headway in the recovery blitz.

“In 2021 the cases under investigation for asset recovery have cumulatively risen to 43 with the value of assets identified and seized amounting to US$24,1 million,” said Comm Makamure.

“Six cases were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to recover ZWL$173m in ill-gotten wealth in 2021.

(The Sunday Mail)

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