Econet Challenges Search Warrant Against EcoCash
Econet Wireless has filed an urgent chamber application to halt a search warrant issued against EcoCash.
The mobile service provider says the warrant is unlawful and a violation of customer privacy. Authorities have issued a warrant to gain access to EcoCash transactions from January 2 to June 30 this year.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) issued a warrant against Econet to hand over a list of its mobile money transactions and subscribers.
According to the warrant, authorities suspect the country’s biggest mobile service provider of involvement in money laundering.
In the search warrant issued on Friday night, police accused Econet of creating fictitious amounts of mobile money and converting it to cash to facilitate purchasing foreign currency on the black market and transacting the money out of Zimbabwe.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has made similar accusations before, which Econet has denied.
The police ordered Econet to provide a list of all subscribers, mobile money transactions and financial statements covering January 2 to June 30 this year “for the purpose of investigating or detecting a case of money laundering.”
iHarare publishes the warrant below:
WARRANT OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE
Issued In terms of Section 49 (b) and 50(1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07) as read with section 288 of the said Act.
TO THE PEACE OFFICERS AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE LAW, PROPER TO THE EXECUTION OF CRIMINAL WARRANTS.
WHERE AS, from information taken upon oath before myself. there are reasonable grounds for believing that ECONET WIRELESS (PVT) LIMITED is in possession or control of documents. information or records which are required in order to afford evidence in a criminal docket and that are necessary for the purpose of investigating or detecting a case of Money Laundering as defined in section 8(1)(a) of the money Laundering and proceeds of crime Act chapter 9:24.10 examine the documents and records and make extracts from and copies of all such documents and records.
Section 50 (1) (a) reads: as article referred to in Section forty-nine shall be seized only by virtue of a Warrant issued-(a) By a Magistrate or Justice of Peace if it appears to the Magistrate or Justice from information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any such article is in the possession or under the control of any person, or upon or in any premises, within his/her area of jurisdiction;
It is therefore directed that ECONET WIRELESS (PTV) LIMITED should within 7 working days provide the following: i) A list of all subscribers/customers both registered and unregistered in the Econet Wireless (Pot) Ltd database with full subscriber details for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.
ii) Summary of transient e-money/airtime credit service posted on the platform through airtime loans for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.
iii) All financial statements for the period 2 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 showing the entire inflow and outflow monetary transactions.
These are therefore. in the State’s name to command you to proceed to ECONET WIRELESS ZIMBABWE there from immediately obtain and take into your custody the above-mentioned documents. records. or information take them to a police station or other place of safety until the matter is finalized or until you further receive further orders from Court.
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