Rwodzi and Interfin Bank refining the money laundering art

Interfin Bank Zimbabwe and Founder Mr Farai Rwodzi are attempting to sanitize and launder their take over of a disputed asset/Bank. The company controversially acquired a controlling stake in the disputed Century/CFX Bank last year after shareholders of the financially-distressed banking institution either ignored or failed to take up their rights in a $10 million equity offering underwritten by the acquirer.

CFX Bank became distressed after negative publicity emanating from my claim and legal action I was pursuing after 309 million Century Bank Shares I owned through my Company ENG Capital were fraudulently transferred and converted at the time of the merger between CFX Bank and Century in 2004.

In money laundering, the proceeds of crime are run through the financial system to disguise their illegal origins and make them appear to be legitimate funds. In this case Interfin took over a disputed asset as in buying stolen property and are trying to clean up the transaction and remove any trace from the initial fraud that was committed against me.

The 309 million Century Bank Shares I owned through my Company ENG Capital were fraudulently transferred and converted at the time of the merger between CFX Bank and Century in 2004 and Interfin Bank proceeded to take over CFX ignoring the disputed ownership of FCFX Bank and the attendant reputational risk. I even wrote to Credit Suisse to dissuade them from taking up shareholding in CFX FS. Credit Suisse has 40% shareholding in FBZ.

The ownership dispute was triggered by the special bargain sale of 309,000,000 shares on 12 May 2004 but the total shares claimed by me and my Company is 900,000,000 the balance was transferred in peace meal fashion to avoid detection of the fraud and transaction laundering that was being perpetrated. CFX was nothing more than a forex trading shop which was used to swallow Century Bank as a cover up of the illegal seizure of the Bank. I lost Century Bank shares owned through ENG Capital after they were “fraudulently” converted into CFX Bank which took over Century Bank assets and Branch network.

Money laundering is not a single act but is in fact a process that is accomplished in three basic steps. These steps can be taken at the same time in the course of a single transaction, but they can also appear in well separable forms one by one as well.

Although money laundering often involves a complex series of transactions, it generally includes three basic steps.
The first step is the physical disposal of ill gotten cash/asset. This Interfin have done by handing over CFX bank licence to the RBZ whilst holding on to the assets ,infrastructure and network from the disputed CFX Bank This placement might be accomplished by depositing the cash in domestic banks or, increasingly, in other types of formal or informal financial institutions.

The second step in money laundering is known as layering, carrying out complex layers of financial transactions to separate the illicit proceeds from their source and disguise the audit trail. This phase can involve such transactions as the wire transfer of deposited cash, the conversion of deposited cash into monetary instruments (bonds, stocks, traveler’s checks), the resale of high-value goods and monetary instruments, and investment in real estate and legitimate businesses, particularly in the leisure and tourism industries. This has already been done through a celebrated stock markert listing.This may later haunt the ZSE as it may develop a reputation on money laundering listings such as this one by Mr Farai Rwodzi and Interfin Bank Zimbabwe

Interfin Holdings reverse listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) using the infrastructure and legal structure taken over from my bank.

Interfin Holdings is currently the holding company of Interfin Merchant Bank, Interfin Securities, a stocks trader on the ZSE, Interfin Asset Management Limited and Altfin Holdings Limited. This structure easily enables money laundering with Interfin appearing to be a legitimate business.The key to this is that this is not the first or last questionable transaction which Interfin have done.

Altfin Holdings is a holding company for a portfolio of insurance units that include the flagship operation, Altfin Insurance, a short term insurance company in Zimbabwe that has a presence in sub Saharan Africa, and Altfin Life, a life assurance business recently added to the group. Given the current attempt to launder the CFX transaction one wonders what else has been laundered through Interfin. What else has been hidden and passed out as clean and honestly earned money.

The last step is to make the wealth derived from the illicit proceeds appear legitimate. This is what Interfin and Mr Farai Rwodzi are trying to do by reverse listing their Interfin Banking Corporation (IBC ) whilst killing the original CFX Bank brand.This integration might involve any number of techniques, such as using front companies to “lend” the proceeds back to the owner or using funds on deposit in foreign financial institutions as security for domestic loans.

Another common technique is over-invoicing or producing false invoices for goods sold-or supposedly sold-across borders. This appears to be another technique that Interfin is mastering with their reported Namibia and “International” expansion.

All the qualities,hallmarks and acts of a money laundering scheme are present in the Interfin model and the reverse listing by taking over CFX Bank and discarding its license and brand whilst taking over its assets, infrastructure and ZSE listing spot on the bourse. The following clearly happened at the direction of Mr Farai Rwodzi and other shareholders need to be aware of the on going reputational risk that will come with transactions of this nature

• the need to conceal the origin and true ownership of the proceeds;
• the need to maintain control of the proceeds;
• the need to change the form of the proceeds in order to shrink the huge volumes of cash generated by the initial criminal activity of corruption and influence peddling.

Whilst Mr Farai Rwodzi and Interfin may get away with the listing on the ZSE for now in the long run they will have huge reputational risk emanating from the CFX Bank ownership dispute which they are trying to sweep under the carpet and rename and rebrand the problem.

This article appears courtesy of GMRI CAPITAL – www.gmricapital.com . It is original content generated for 3MG MEDIA.
FARAI RWODZI
Gilbert Muponda is an Investment Banker and Founder of GMRI CAPITAL . He can be reached at; www.ZimFace.com and www.facebook.com/muponda

Email: [email protected] . Skype ID: gilbert.Muponda

Twitter ; http://twitter.com/gmricapital

Phone: 1-416-841-5542

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