FIA & ICAM Cement Partnership in Combating Financial Crimes
Financial Intelligence Authority and Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi have signed a pact which is expected to facilitate easy flow of information when investigating financial crime cases.
Acting director-general for ICAM Dr. Francis Gondwe says the MOU formalizes the working relationship that has existed between the two institutions for a free from financial crimes in Malawi.
“This MOU is very significant in the sense that it will allow the two parties exchange information that is vital for our purpose. …as ICAM, within the institute we have got structures that are responsible for investigating ethical and disciplinary matters and this information will help us conclude investigations that are outstanding,” he said.
FIA and ICAM concede that lack of information flow has impacted on progress of investigations some involving high-profile figures which in the end was deemed as a deliberate ploy to shield them.
Meanwhile, acting director-general for FIA Vincent Chipeta has said partnering with ICAM officially is a boost to strides being made in the country in the fight against financial crimes.
"We have cast our net wider whereby their membership will report to the FIA any irregular transaction, any suspicious transaction during their work, so for us, we will now have wider access to information that we did not have in the past," Observed Chipeta.
Currently, about 2400 accountants in the country out of not less than 10, 000 are members of ICAM which poses a challenge in policing practitioners against conduct that is not ethical.
“We do not have the mandate on those that are not our members so what we are doing is that the Public Accounts and Auditors Act requires that everyone who holds himself as an accountant must be registered. Together with the Malawi Accountants board, we have embarked on a joint campaign to register all accountants."
The two institutions admit that much as efforts are being made to contain proliferation of financial crimes, the level of such crimes is still very high and the cases committed are sophisticated.
ICAM believes that with the MOU, it will now be able to investigate, conduct hearings, and conclude cases with speed.
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