Maputo, 21 Nov (AIM) – Mozambique’s Central Office for the Recovery of Assets (GCRA) announced on Monday that, since its creation in 2020, it has recovered five billion meticais (about 78.4 million US dollars) from the seizure of money, buildings and other assets that resulted from criminal activities.
The spokesperson for the GCRA, Sergio Macuacua, gave this figure in Maputo at the first national meeting of the GCRA, being held under the motto “For a Public Prosecutor’s Office Committed to the Recovery of Assets as a means of Fighting Crime”.
Macuacua broke the recovery figure down by year: thus in 2020, the GCRA recovered slightly less than 615 million meticais; in 2021, 735 million; in 2022, almost 1.5 billion meticais; and from January to October of this year 1.38 billion.
“The job of the GCRA is to screen, investigate and locate assets”, said Macuacua. “Crime must be catalogued, particularly crimes of corruption, money laundering, and terrorist financing”.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the levels of recovery of assets from criminal hands have recorded a significant improvement, thanks to the government’s efforts to remove the country from the “grey list” established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The FATF grey list, officially known as “jurisdictions under increased monitoring”, includes countries that are deemed to have deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.
The buildings where tenants were paying rent have been seized and the money is now being handled by the Asset Management Office.
During the meeting, Swiss ambassador Alain Gaschen, pledged that Switzerland is willing to increase its support for Mozambican criminal investigation, the fight against corruption, and the management of assets.
Gaschen said that technical discussions are now under way on the details of a new programme centred on boosting the capacity of the institutions involved in criminal investigation.
Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili said that the establishment of the GCRA has contributed greatly to strengthening the mechanisms to prevent and fight against organized and transnational crime.
The meeting, she said, is intended to draw up a balance of the GCRA’s activities and harmonise its procedures with other state bodies. “No institution can fight against organized and transnational crime on its own”, she stressed – hence the need for the GCRA to coordinate with such bodies as the Tax Authority (AT), the Bank of Mozambique, the Registry and Notarial offices, and the insurance inspectorate.