The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to give powers to the authority to confiscate proceeds from wildlife crime.
The current law enforcement efforts only concentrate on arresting and persecuting wildlife crime offenders which in most cases left the criminals to enjoy the proceeds of their crimes after serving their sentences.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lilongwe, director of National Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa said the MoU will ensure that the money involved is trailed and confiscated; hence, the involvement of the authority which has the capacity to trace the money within and beyond Malawi.
He said: “As you might be aware, illegal trade of such wildlife products such as rhino horns, ivory and of late pangolin scales has become a multi-billion dollar business”.
In her remarks, FIA director general Atuweni Agbermodji said the authority will provide the department with intelligence and investigative personnel in terms of financial crime and finances in wildlife crime and ensure that the money is not dissipated.
“This request for the FIA came at the right time as we were noticing that we were receiving more requests for information on possible wildlife crime from law enforcement agencies within the country,” she said.
For the past three years, FIA has been working with the department to combat wildlife crime in the country. n