Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says trade-based money laundering has cost the economy $9 million (about K6.6 billion) between 2017 and 2018.
MRA director of tax investigations division Steve Kajombo said this in an interview on Monday in Blantyre on the sidelines of a two-day workshop on trade-based money laundering organised by Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) in collaboration with Attorney General Alliance-Africa Alliance Partnership (AGA-AAP).
He said MRA has between 2017 and 2018, received reports from FIA indicating a slight jump in trade-based money laundering, showing that the issue is serious.
“The global economy is affected by trade-based money laundering in several ways and Malawi is not spared.
“People plan to launder money that could have actually improved the economy of any nation, including Malawi,” he said.
FIA director general Atuweni Juwayeyi- Adermodji said they are optimistic that its counterparts will have a better understanding of trade-based money laundering issues and tackle them better.
“Trade-based money laundering in Malawi is serious as figures clearly state a lot of money is lost. This points to the fact that this is this is a serious problem which needs expertise to bring the malpractice to an end,” she said.
AGA-AAP programme director Chikukere Unamba-Oparah said it is critical for organisations to understand, learn and implement best measures and practices to tackle trade-based money laundering.
“There are so many ways in which money laundering takes place. Exporters, importers, retailers and other businesses which may not be real businesses use trade-based money laundering to bring money in and out of Malawi illegally,” he said.
During the event, FIA and AGA-AAP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cement and enhance their relationship.