MoneyGram International strengthens Rwodzi ,Mujuru and Interfin Bank money laundering web

After a recent article exposing how Moneygram International was lending credibility to asset looting ,grabbing and subsequent money laundering by partnering my seized bank CFX which was renamed Interfin Banking Corporation, MoneyGram International pretended to be surprised. MoneyGram are fully aware they are doing business with people who are at the centre of looting assets and laundering the proceeds by partnering Internationally reputed brands such as money gram.

It is clear MoneyGram International guilty of very serious Corporate Irresponsibility by failing to do proper due diligence with the entities that they are using as agents in Zimbabwe in particular CFX/Interfin Bank Zimbabwe owned by General Mujuru and his business associate Farai Rwodzi. The details below and other generally available on the internet clearly show that MoneyGram International is complicity by association and are aiding and abetting in the asset looting going on in Zimbabwe.

MoneyGram International need to review their participation in the Farai Rwodzi-Mujuru-Interfin Bank Zimbabwe asset looting and grabbing syndicate. According to media reports part of the missing US$ 30 million diamond sales proceeds was “invested” at Interfin Bank Zimbabwe at a time when the Zimbabwe minister of Finance and Treasury Depratment are trying to trace those funds. The media has been widely taunting Interfin Bank and Group as cash rich without telling the public that this very same cash was looted from diamond sales proceeds and is being used to “buy” CFX Bank? And for Moneygram International to be doing business with such entities who are ready to divert diamond sales proceeds whilst people are dying of hunger and lack of medication it only serves to confirm that MoneyGram International do not care about ordinary people who are the bulk of their clients who use their service.

Mujuru is also said to have shares in African Consolidated Resources (ACR), the company in the middle of a legal battle with the government over mining rights in Chiadzwa. ACR CEO Andrew Cranswick is described in the report as having aligned himself with the wrong faction in ZANU PF.

“Mujuru was to provide Cranswick political coverage, as the latter comes from a family with the wrong political pedigree. (His family was known to be big supporters of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front). Instead, Cranswick is now paying the price for backing the wrong horse in the ZANU succession race.”

Meanwhile, ACR offered the Zimbabwean government (whom exactly?) an equity partnership in this venture and still seems to await a response. According to Cranswick, `the board remains hopeful that good sense will prevail and the deposit can be exploited for the good of all Zimbabweans`River Ranch, which General Mujuru controversially grabbed at gunpoint in 2004, is another contested diamond area that the international rights group says is inextricably linked to the pursuit of political power and defiance of Kimberley Process protocols. PAC says: “The mine goes to the very heart of Mujuru’s struggle for control of ZANU”

A news report by respected journalist Violet Gonda quoted the “Titled: Diamonds and Clubs: The Militarized Control of Diamonds and Power in Zimbabwe, the report shows how the Chiadzwa diamonds are sustaining the ZANU PF regime and also fuelling the ongoing political conflict.”

According to Gonda’s article The report highlights individuals like former army general Solomon Mujuru, who is heavily involved in illegal diamond deals and also uses his diamond mine ‘River Ranch’ to launder the family’s ongoing plunder of resources from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to The Insider - May 2009 River Ranch piled up pressure to silence the publication for exposing the corrupt and illegal practices that were allegedly going at the mine. According to recent media reports the mine has now been “transferred” to Harare Lawyer Chinake through an “ acquisition of Kuphikile Resources’ shareholding – owned by retired army general Solomon Mujuru and Tirivanhu Mudariki.

River Ranch has intensified its efforts to silence The Insider over allegations that the company which runs a diamond mine near Beitbridge allegedly used vehicles registered in the name of the United Nations Development Programme to smuggle diamonds into South Africa. This is typical of the Farai Rwodzi-Mujuru-Interfin Bank Zimbabwe syndicate to use International Organizations to appear clean ,legal and legitimate whilst doing serious underhand deals such as the reported “investment” of at least US$ 2 million at Interfin Bank Zimbabwe to finance the acquisition of CFX Bank whilst Zimbabwe Treasury remains cash strapped and state enterprises are closed due to lack of funding. A report by The Zimbabwe Standard confirmed these irregular investments (http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/27651-zmdc-executives-financial-scandal-deepens.html) The Voice of America did another follow up article
http://www1.voanews.com/zimbabwe/news/Suspended-Zimbabwe-Minerals-Executive-Said-Building-Harare-Mansion-100915419.html The Zimbabwe Telegraph did an additional article ( http://www.zimtelegraph.com/?p=8825). In this case MoneyGram International Brand is being used by Farai Rwodzi and Interfin Bank Zimbabwe to appear in “good company” whilst looting assets which can easily be laundered by associating with world leading brands like Money Gram International.

A report by Charles Rukuni highlighted the allegations of UNDP involvement in diamond smuggling from River Ranch were first levelled by Bubye Minerals, a company that also claims rights to the diamond mine which is now owned by Saudi Arabian billionaire Adel Aujan and former commander of the Zimbabwe army Solomon Mujuru or his front.

The UNDP was involved with River Ranch through African Management Services Company (AMSCO), a Johannesburg-based company that it jointly owns with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank.

AMSCO started assisting River Ranch in November 2004 by seconding five senior managers to the mine. It pulled out in July last year after the allegations surfaced in the local and international media.

Bubye claimed that officials seconded by AMSCO were using UNDP vehicles to smuggle diamonds to South Africa because the vehicles and the officers had diplomatic immunity and were not subject to search as they were accredited with the UNDP.

Mujuru, a politburo member of President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), is specified under the United States sanctions that are implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). His wife, vice-president Joyce Mujuru is also specified. The mine was discovered in 1971 by Kimberlitic Searches, a subsidiary of De Beers, but it forfeited its rights in 1991 following a wrangle with the Zimbabwe government over the marketing of the gems. The mine was taken over by Auridiam, an Australian company that entered into a joint venture with Canadian company Redaurum.

Zimbabwe`s president Mugabe expressed his disapproval of senior officials` involvement in the diamond industry. He described it as an industry where `suspicion could easily be raised`. Mugabe asked, `How do you become involved in this sort of thing when you are a Politburo member, partnering white businessmen, why?`

Retired general and war hero, Solomon Tapfumanei (directly translated: How did you get this rich?) Mujuru, alias Rex Nhongo, is the only ZANU PF Politburo member who is publicly known to have a direct interest in Zimbabwe`s diamond fields. As a Zanu PF member he serves on the board of the diamond field, River Ranch Limited.His interest in the diamonds has been through various schemes and elaborate structures including using various fronts. The proceeds are then channeled through Interfin Bank Zimbabwe which Mujuru owns through his business associate and frontman Farai Rwodzi .In the recent case the ZMDC reportedly invested heavily in Interfin Bank under the rumoured instruction of the General,these diamond sales proceeds have allowed Farai Rwodzi and Interfin Bank syndicate to go on a buying spree including Zimbabwe Alloys,CFX Bank and possibly a stake in Kingdom Meikles Africa where Rwodzi is attempting to push out Kingdom Bank founder Nigel Chanakira with the ultimate plan being to incorporate Kingdom Bank into the Farai Rwodzi-Mujuru-Interfin Bank syndicate.

General Mujuru is allegedly also a close friend and business ally of Andrew Cranswick. His legal counsel at River Ranch Limited is George Smith. Smith is a retired judge who served under Ian Smith and Robert Mugabe as a cabinet secretary. It is interesting to observe that Mujuru`s role is never publicly questioned, as he remains a war hero. Meanwhile, he has amassed great wealth over the years using various fronts and schemes with Interfin Bank Zimbabwe acting as the custodians of the looted loot and specializing in cleaning the proceeds.

This article appears courtesy of GMRI CAPITAL – www.gmricapital.com . It is original content generated for 3MG MEDIA.

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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