By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, March 10 (The Source) – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says it will freeze funds held by financial institutions, pension funds and investment funds on behalf of terrorist groups as it tightens screws on illicit financial movements.
This comes after the United Nations last month blacklisted several individuals and cautioned global capital markets and regulators against transacting in funds linked to Al Qaeda terrorists.
The new central bank directive, dated February 23 calls for financial institutions to strictly monitor funds that could have illicitly flowed from the terror group infamously known for September 11 terror attacks in the United States in 2001.
“Every financial institution and Direct Non Financial Business and Professionals as defined in section 2 of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, [Chapter 9:24], and every natural or legal person, who comes into possession or control of any asset, funds or other economic resource belonging to, controlled or held by, or for the benefit of an individual or entity appearing on the list above, as updated from time to time, shall immediately and without delay, freeze such funds, assets or economic resources,” said RBZ director in charge of bank use, promotion and suppression of money laundering unit Oliver Chiperesa.
Last year Zimbabwe signed an anti-laundering bill as part of a global fight to mitigate terrorism that has also spread into the continent leading to the country being taken off the list of countries subjected to monitoring by the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT).