Zimbabwe pursuing billions stashed in foreign countries

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HARARE – The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has identified over US$7 billion in cash and properties stashed outside the economically-struggling country by former and current senior government officials and captains of industry, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The revelation comes as the ZACC intensifies efforts to recover ill-gotten wealth hidden outside Zimbabwe’s borders.

Some of the properties and cash were reportedly identified in Switzerland, London, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius and Spain.

ZACC chairwoman and former high court judge Loice Matanda-Moyo told state media on the sidelines of a three-day workshop on asset recovery in Harare that more accurate investigations were underway.

“Informally, we have now identified over US$7 billion worth of property and cash all over the world which were siphoned by our former leaders, current leaders, private sector and individuals. So this information we only got informally, so now we have to formalise the process so that we start the processes of repatriating the monies back home,” the Herald quoted her as saying.

Matanda-Moyo said the purpose of the workshop, sponsored by the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, was to equip ZACC officers with the techniques to repatriate stolen funds.

“They are going to teach us on the various jurisdictions, how we can interact with those various jurisdictions, who we can engage and who we can actually work with in order to ensure that all those monies are repatriated back to Zimbabwe for the benefit of Zimbabweans,” she said.

The anti-graft commission  was last year given the power to arrest suspects.

– African News Agency (ANA)