The Bank of Zambia (BOZ) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) have said their preliminary investigations into the operations of COMSAVE and ONO are indicating that the two institutions had a semblance of money circulating schemes.
In a statement to Byta FM News Saturday morning, BoZ and DEC have revealed that their investigations so far are showing that ONO and COMSAVE were collecting and lending money from the public from members of the public, as independent administrators, under the disguise of Village Banking.
“Village Banking is a closed group of self-selected individuals, with clearly defined rules and procedures for saving and borrowing money within the group, as well as sharing the interest earned. It has also been noted that the activities had a semblance of Money Circulation Schemes which are prohibited under the Banking and Financial Services Act,” reads the joint statement.
“In consultation with the Bank of Zambia, the DEC-Anti Money Laundering Investigations Unit, has, therefore, exercised its authority under the law to safeguard the interests of the public. The Bank of Zambia will in due course issue a statement to help the public distinguish Village Banking from Money Circulation Schemes and what constitutes Financial Services that can only be provided under license from the relevant authorities.”
Boz and DEC have however assured that they are doing their level best to ensure that interests of all stakeholders are protected, while the due process of the law takes its full course.
“Members of the public who may have been undertaking financial transactions with either Comsave or OSCA, will be advised at an appropriate time to submit documentary evidence of their respective deposits in the accounts of the two entities,” states the statement.
“We wish to reiterate that members of the public should be diligent and remain vigilant in their financial dealings, especially in the light of increased financial crimes, as well as companies that lure people with the promise of high and unrealizable returns. It is imperative for one to know and understand who they are dealing with before engaging in any business or financial transaction.”
BoZ and DEC have since appealed to members of the public to remain calm as investigations are still ongoing.