All eyes on govt, Econet court case  

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MARKETS are watching unfolding events closely after the court issued a surprise order empowering police to seize the data base and financial records of Econet subscribers.
This follows yet to be tested accusations against one of the country’s biggest firms and corporate taxpayers that it has allegedly been engaging in money laundering.
The court ordered that Econet provides the information to police within seven working days.
“It is therefore directed that Econet Wireless (Pvt) Limited should within seven working days provide the following: A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered in the Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd database, with full subscriber details for the period January 2, 2020 to June 30, 2020; summary of transient e-money/airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period January 2, 2020 to June 30, 2020; all financial statements for the period January 2, 2020 to June 30, 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.
“These are therefore … to command you to proceed to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe immediately to obtain and take into your custody the above-mentioned documents, records, or information; take them to a police station or other place of safety until the matter is finalised or until you further receive further orders from court,” the order reads.
In an affidavit signed by investigations officer Mkhululi Nyoni, the police suspect that Econet has violated the country’s money laundering regulations.
“I have reasonable grounds to suspect that Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd is involved in money laundering activities in violation of section 8(1) (a) (b) ARW, section 8(6) of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24).
“On 9 July 2020, information was received to the effect that during the period extending from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, Econet Wireless (Pvt) Ltd and its subsidiaries have been fraudulently creating and issuing non-attributable and non-auditable individual subscribers, merchants billers and agents who they credited with huge sums of money distributed to their runners through their trust accounts.
“The runners would in turn buy foreign currency from the black market before it was externalised,” Nyoni alleged in his affidavit.

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