Zimbabwe police raids Econet business premises


HARARE — Zimbabwe’s police have accused Econet Wireless Ltd., the country’s dominant mobile phone company, of money laundering, demanded a list of its subscribers and issued a search warrant against it.

The move escalates a clash between the government and company whose money transfer service facilitates the bulk of transactions in the southern African country. The government says its activities are contributing to the rapid depreciation of the national currency.

In an order against the company, the police accused the company of creating fictitious mobile money, converting it to cash and then buying foreign currency on the black market before sending it out the country.

On June 26 the country banned most of those transactions and has now said it plans to force Econet’s Ecocash unit to use a government-run money-transfer platform.

Calls to Econet’s spokesman, Fungai Mandiveyi, weren’t answered.

The search warrant which the police were carrying was issued by a Magistrate granting them permission to search the telecommunications giant’s premises and retrieve the data in question.

WARRANT OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE

Issued In terms of Section 49 (b) and 50(1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9 07) as read with section 288 of the said Act
TO THE PEACE OFFICERS AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE LAW, PROPER TO THE EXECUTION OF CRIMINAL WARRANTS
WHERE AS. from information taken upon oath before myself. there are reasonable grounds for believing that ECONET WIRELESS (PVT) LIMITED is in possession or control of documents information or records which are required in order to afford evidence in a criminal docket and that are necessary for the purpose of investigating or detecting a case of Money Laundering as defined in section 8(1)(a) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of crime Act chapter 9.24: to examine the documents and records and make extracts from and copies of all such documents and records
Section 50 (1) (a) reads:

‘an article referred to in Section forty-nine shall be seized only by virtue of a Warrant issued-

(a) By a Magistrate or Justice of Peace if it appears to the Magistrate or Justice from information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any such article is in the possession or under the control of any person, or upon or in any premises. within his/her area of Jurisdiction;

It is therefore directed that ECONET WIRELESS (PTV) LIMITED should within 7 working days provide the following 0 A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered in the Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd database with full subscriber details for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

ii) Summary of transient e-money/airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

ill) All financial statements for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.

These are, therefore, in the State’s name to command you to proceed to ECONET WIRELESS ZIMBABWE therefrom immediately obtain and take into your custody the above-mentioned documents, records. or information take them to a police station or other place of safety until the matter is finalized or until you further receive further orders from Court

Issued In terms of Section 49 (b) and 50(1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07) as read with section 288 of the said Act

TO THE PEACE OFFICERS AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE LAW, PROPER TO THE EXECUTION OF CRIMINAL WARRANTS

WHEREAS from information taken upon oath before myself, there are reasonable grounds for believing that ECONET WIRELESS (PVT) LIMITED is in possession or control of documents. information or records which are required in order to afford evidence in a criminal docket and that are necessary for the purpose of investigating or detecting a case of Money Laundering as defined in section 8(1)(a) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act chapter 9:2 4:to examine the documents and records and make extracts from and copies of all such documents and records.
Section 50 (1) (a) reads: -….an article referred to in Section forty-nine shall be seized only by virtue of a Warrant issued-(a) By a Magistrate or Justice of Peace if it appears to the Magistrate or Justice from information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any such article is in the possession or under the control of any person or upon or in any premises, within his/her area of jurisdiction:

It is therefore directed that ECONET WIRELESS (PTV) LIMITED should within 7 working days provide the following.. i) A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered in the Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd database with full subscriber details for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

ii) Summary of transient e-money airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

iii) All financial statements for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.

These are, therefore, in the State’s name to command you to proceed to ECONET WIRELESS ZIMBABWE therefrom immediately obtain and take into your custody the above-mentioned documents, records or information take them to a police station or other place of safety until the matter is finalized or until you further receive further orders from Court.

Issued In terms of Section 49 (b) and 5 0(1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9-07) as read with section 288 of the said Act TO THE PEACE OFFICERS AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE LAW, PROPER TO THE EXECUTION OF CRIMINAL WARRANTS

WHEREAS from information taken upon oath before myself. there are reasonable grounds for believing that ECONET WIRELESS (PVT) LIMITED is in possession or control of documents. information or records which are required in order to afford evidence in a criminal docket and that are necessary for the purpose of investigating or detecting a case of Money Laundering as defined in section 8(1)(a) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of crime Act chapter 9•24.to examine the documents and records and make extracts from and copies of all such documents and records

Section 50 (1) (a) reads ‘ an article referred to in Section forty-nine shall be seized only by virtue of a Warrant issued-(a) By a Magistrate or Justice of Peace if it appears to the Magistrate or Justice from information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any such article is in the possession or under the control of any person. or upon or in any premises, within his/her area of jurisdiction, It is therefore directed that ECONET WIRELESS (PTV) LIMITED should within 7 working days provide the following:

A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered In the Wireless (Pvt) Ltd database with full subscriber details for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

ii) Summary of transient e-money/airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.
iii) All financial statements for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.

These are, therefore, in the State’s name to command you to proceed to ECONET WIRELESS ZIMBABWE therefrom immediately obtain and take into your custody the above-mentioned documents, records, or information take them to a police station or other place of safety until the matter is finalized or until you further receive further orders from Court CID Asset Forfeiture Unit ER 62/202Q Statement ”
AFFIDAVIT

I, Mkhululi Nyoni NR 29-152573 0 58, do hereby make oath and swear that:

1. I am a Detective Inspector and Officer In Charge CID Asset Forfeiture Unit, Northern Region. I am the Investigating Officer in a case of Money Laundering C/s 8(1) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act 9:24.

2. I have reasonable grounds to suspect that Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd is involved in Money laundering activities in violation of section 8(1) (a) (b) ARW section 8(6) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24). 3. On 9 July 2020, information was received to the effect that during the period extending from 01 January 2020 to 30 June 2020, ECONET WIRELESS (Pvt) Ltd and its subsidiaries have been fraudulently creating and issuing non-attributable and non-auditable individual subscribers merchants briers and agent which they credited with huge sums of money and distributed to their runners through their trust accounts. The runners would in turn buy foreign currency from the black before being externalized.

4. It is against this background that it is suspected that the accused is laundering the proceeds of crime.

5. I, therefore, apply for the following: -a) A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered in the Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd database with full subscriber details for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

b) Summary of transient e-money/airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.

c) All financial statements for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.