NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe seeks help to recover missing billions


Posted on Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:20

Zimbabwe seeks help to recover missing billions

By Nqobile Bhebhe

File photo©Emrah/AP/SIPAZimbabwe has extended its investigations into missing diamond revenue to six countries including the United States following claims the impoverished country could have lost $15 billion through externalisation.

The country's law enforcement agents are already investigating directors of one of the Chinese mining companies that had a concession in Marange for allegedly externalising millions of dollars.

The disposal of the said money should target the beneficiaries of the disbursements, withdrawals or bank transfers

According to a letter by Zimbabwe's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to its counterparts in the United Arab Emirates, China, Zambia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo, Harare wants help to track down some of the missing money.

"The competent authorities of the requested States are hereby requested to assist in the investigation of the details of the holders of the bank accounts and their beneficial owners," reads part of the letter.

"The disposal of the said money should target the beneficiaries of the disbursements, withdrawals or bank transfers.

"Lastly, it is requested that account opening details of the said bank accounts be retrieved also."

The NPA is handling charges against directors of Chinese firm, Jinan Mining (Pvt) Limited, Bai Xiangqian, Bei Bei Ma and Qingde Jiang in connection with the externalisation saga. Bai, Bei and Qingde are linked to the alleged externalisation of $6 million to Botswana.

The money was allegedly later wired to various bank accounts in the six countries.

President Robert Mugabe early this year claimed companies that were given diamond concessions in the Chiadzwa area could have prejudiced the State of over $15 billion in revenues since they began operations around 2009.

He claimed government had no idea how the cash was looted but State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Cooperation had a 50 percent interest in most of the companies operating at Marange.

Mugabe made the revelations after the government cancelled licenses of all mining companies operating in Marange accusing them of not remitting revenue to Treasury.

The Zimbabwe government had for years been resisting calls to investigate the firms after the discovery of the diamonds failed to transform the economy.

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