Parliament demands action on illicit financial flows

Cape Town – An inter-parliamentary committee will convene on August 29 to get an update on the prosecution of people engaging in illicit financial flows, Yunus Carrim (ANC), chairperson of the standing committee on finance, said on Tuesday.

“It has been suggested to us that some 5 000 cases of illicit financial flows have been referred to the police,” Carrim said, “and a visible few have been pursued".

A joint meeting of the police, mineral resources, trade and industry and finance committees will take place, demanding feedback from a range of institutions, including the police, the SA Revenue Service (SARS), the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) about the progress with prosecutions and charges laid.

“We won’t so much focus on the theory and policy of illicit financial flows. We want to see action and prosecution,” Carrim said.

READ: Only 14% of financial intelligence cases investigated in 6 years 

In addition, he also called on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to establish an inter-ministerial committee to give urgent attention to illicit financial flows, which should run parallel to the inter-parliamentary process.

“There needs to be a political structure in Cabinet under the finance minister and he must ensure that all institutions work together.”

Carrim said Police Minister Fikile Mbalula expressed concern over the lack of action with prosecutions of illicit financial flow cases.

In March this year, the standing committee on finance had a joint meeting with the portfolio committees on mineral resources and trade and industry to get a sense of the number of cases referred to criminal prosecution authorities.

At the time, representatives of the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the Hawks - who were present at the meeting - were unable to answer questions about the number of illicit financial flows-related cases.

Gigaba earlier - in a written parliamentary response - said only 733 of the more than 5 200 cases that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) passed on to law enforcement agencies have been investigated in the past six years.

This amounts to about 14%. 

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