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DEC’s Operations Net Major Financial Crimes, 3.9 Tonnes of Cannabis Seized 

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has apprehended multiple suspects involved in extensive financial and drug-related crimes. 

According to Allan Tamba, Public Relations Officer for the DEC, the commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit (AMLIU) has charged Natasha Mugode and Semwa Chenda, both 27, from Ndola’s Mushili Compound, for their roles in a major money laundering scheme.

The suspects, acting as Directors of Brilliant Global Solution Multi-Purpose Cooperative, were implicated in unauthorized banking and money circulation schemes. Investigations revealed they collected deposits totaling ZMW 47,546,401 from 16,319 contracts between December 31st, 2022, and November 30, 2023, violating the Banking and Financial Services Act.

Dennis Jongwe, 27, from Meanwood, Lusaka, who remains at large, was also identified as a key participant. The DEC has launched a manhunt for Jongwe and urges anyone with information on his whereabouts to assist in the investigation.

The fraudulent scheme promised high returns on investments in farming contracts for chili, okra, chicken, and piggery, guaranteeing returns of K254,964,709 over a period of seven to eighteen months, without sufficient production to support these returns. 

Authorities found ZMW 974,817 transferred to the suspects’ accounts and ZMW 4,282,000 moved to an offshore account. Additionally, ZMW 4,204,265.19 suspected to be proceeds of crime was discovered in various personal bank accounts.

In a separate operation in Chipata District, DEC apprehended Joel Phiri, 42, and Steven Chirwa, 32, for possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime. 

The duo was found with 76,066,000 Malawian Kwacha and 35,735 Zambian Kwacha concealed in their car while attempting to cross from Malawi into Zambia. The suspects’ vehicle, a silver Toyota Allion, has been seized.

Furthermore, DEC conducted another operation in Chipata District resulting in the arrest of four suspects, including two Zimbabwean nationals, for trafficking 3.9 tonnes of dry loose cannabis. 

The suspects, Christine Moya, 52, an ex-convict for similar offences, Anna Mudimu, 41, James Mbewe, 32, and Philimoni Phiri, 52, were intercepted transporting the contraband in polythene bags on ox-carts from Malawi into Zambia.

All suspects have been charged and will appear in court soon. The DEC’s rigorous investigations highlight its unwavering dedication to enforcing the law. 

Allan Tamba urges all citizens to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities to authorities, emphasizing that community cooperation is crucial in the fight against crime.

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