The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it has identified an estimated US$7 billion worth of assets that were illicitly siphoned out of the country through corruption and money laundering.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure told The Sunday Mail that the anti-graft body has activated links with several international agencies to recover the loot, some of which is salted away in offshore bank accounts and trust funds. Said Makamure:
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).
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Investigations through formal and informal co-operation processes have commenced for some of the identified assets.
Locally, ZACC has, this year alone, identified close to US$24 million worth of ill-gotten gains that could be up for forfeiture.
Assets that ZACC seeks to recover include houses, residential stands, vehicles, or any other property attained from the proceeds of crime, including cash.
Makamure said 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. He said:
Six cases were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to recover ZWL$173m in ill-gotten wealth in 2021.
Asset recovery is integral to the anti-corruption fight. Follow-ups are ongoing in numerous other cases worth millions of dollars as ZACC steps up asset recovery from ill-gotten wealth.
Makamure said in 2020 there were 36 asset recovery cases with a value of US$4.5 million, which were under investigation by ZACC.
Of these 36 cases, 10 case files were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority with a value of US$ 3.2 million.