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Illicit financial flows pose a complex global challenge

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Illicit financial flows pose a complex global challenge. Their extraordinary and complex nature necessitates an extraordinary and multifaceted approach to combating them. Consequently, the importance of involving all criminal justice stakeholders in crime prevention, investigation, prosecution, and asset recovery in order to reduce crimes linked to illicit financial flows cannot be over-emphasised.
On 10th September, 2021, during the ceremonial opening of the 1st session of the 13th National Assembly, in his address to the National Assembly under the theme “Creating a United, Prosperous and Equitable Zambia; Restoring Economic Growth and Safe-guarding Livelihoods”, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia indicated a number of Good Governance policy directions that the Government must embark on. The Policy Directions included among other things, the following:

  1. restoration of the Rule of Law;
  2. reviewing of the policy and legal framework for oversight Institutions to enable them to effectively fight corruption and economic crimes;
  3. increasing funding and enhancing operational independence of oversight Institutions; and
  4. introduction of specialised fast-track, stolen assets recovery mechanisms and courts for corruption and economic crimes.
    It is against this background that the National Prosecution Authority, with support from the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Southern Africa (ARINSA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) embarked on a process to create a National Task Force comprising Law Enforcement Agencies and other critical stakeholders.
    The National Task Force will include the Ministry of Justice, Zambia Police Service, National Anti-Terrorism Centre, Zambia Revenue Authority, Drug Enforcement Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Auditor General, Bank of Zambia, Department of Immigration and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife. The structure for the inter- agency cooperation has culminated in the inter-agency framework which has been launched today.
    This Framework aims to support collaboration between competent authorities including, law enforcement and prosecution agencies in tackling serious offences as provided in Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act, corrupt practices (Anti – Corruption Act), money laundering offences, illegal wildlife trade, countering Terrorist Financing, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking and other financial related offences with a focus on forfeiture of proceeds or benefits arising from such crimes. It is envisaged that a formalised policy or a formal procedure will help institutions coordinate smoothly, as members of different Agencies will build relationships, share expertise, and work together.
    The National Task Force will endeavor to meet the expectations of the Zambian people in the fight against organised crime, corruption and money laundering.
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The National Prosecution Authority is a statutory body established by the National Prosecution Authority act No. 34 of 2010 with a mandate of instituting criminal proceedings on behalf of the state.

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