Zimbabwe’s largest cellular operator, Econet Wireless, has been issued with a search warrant ordering it to provide the police with a list of all subscribers, EcoCash mobile money transactions and financial statements covering 2 January to 30 June this year. According to a report from Reuters, authorities suspect the firm of involvement in money laundering. Police have reportedly accused Econet of creating fictitious mobile money and converting it to cash to facilitate purchasing foreign currency on the black market and taking the money out of Zimbabwe.
CommsUpdate noted last month that the government ordered the temporary closure of mobile money agents, bulk payer lines and merchant-to-merchant transactions in an effort to combat ‘malpractices, criminality and economic sabotage perpetrated by the wolves in sheep skins amongst our population’. Authorities also banned trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).