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FIU unfreezes accounts of high-profile ‘Gold Mafia’ suspects after “clearance”

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FIU unfreezes accounts of high-profile ‘Gold Mafia’ suspects after “clearance”

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has made a decision to unfreeze the assets of officials allegedly involved in the “Gold Mafia” of gold smuggling, money laundering, and bribery outlined in an Al Jazeera documentary. In a statement released by the FIU’s director general, Mr Oliver Chiperesa, it was clarified that the decision to unfreeze the officials’ assets was based on a thorough investigation and analysis of the documentary, which did not reveal any money laundering or financial crime related to the Al Jazeera allegations.

However, the FIU emphasized that the unfreezing was not a judgment on whether investigations or legal actions would proceed. The authorities are still conducting investigations into the allegations made in the documentary.

Cleopas Chidodo, David Chirozvi, Mehlululi Dube, and Frederick Kunaka had all seen their assets frozen. Among them, Chidodo is the head of security at the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, while Chirozvi is the Head of Finance at the RBZ subsidiary Aurex Jewellery. Kunaka, who allegedly received kickbacks of $30,000 per month, and Dube, associated with Golden Beryl Private Limited, were both suspected of having links to the gold-smuggling syndicate. The FIU maintained that it would cooperate fully in all international investigations.

“The FIU, working in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has since concluded its analysis of the four episodes of the Al Jazeera documentary and has also analysed the financial assets and transactions of the persons implicated in the documentary and has determined that there is no good cause for the freezing order to remain in place.

“The FIU has not identified transactions or assets linked to money laundering and related financial crime connected to the allegations in the Al Jazeera documentary,” said Mr Chiperesa.

“In view of the above, the FIU has directed financial institutions to unfreeze all the accounts and other financial assets that had been frozen pursuant to the directive of 31 March 2023.”

The FIU, said Mr Chiperesa, was ready to cooperate with any international investigations as required.

Tawanda started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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