Three directors of crypto company Heritage Coin Resources Limited were arrested in Zambia charged with breaching the country’s banking and money laundering laws. The employees are accused of laundering almost US$2.4 million.
Heritage Coin Resources employees Hilda Agnes Raubenheimer, Orient Rio Zekko and Tapiwa Chirwa are expected to appear in court before the end of the year. The trio are now on bail.
The Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit under the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Zambian agency which made the arrest, claims that the firm told clients that it was trading in Bitcoin online for customers. The commission is investigating the firms’ operations and is also charging the firm with running a finance firm without the required license.
“The company has since been offering financial services and collecting deposits from members of the public. As such the Commission, together with the Bank of Zambia, is currently investigating the company for activities contrary to the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering as well as the Banking Services Acts respectively,” said the DEC’s deputy public relations officer, Kamufinsa Manchishi.
Manchishi was also appealing to the members of the public who had made deposits with the firm to contact the Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit to help in the investigation. In October the Bank of Zambia announced that crypto currencies were not legal tender in Zambia.
The government warned the public to be cautious when dealing with financial institutions due to the rise of white collar crimes, as companies try to lure customers by promising unusually high returns on deposits.