Is EcoCash turning a blind eye on money laundering and illegal activities?

Econet’s EcoCash released a public statement today distancing itself from MMM Global Zimbabwe and any other illegal activities such as Ponzi schemes.

In their public statement, EcoCash reminded us that it is a licensed mobile payment platform that facilitates financial transactions (sending & receiving money, buying prepaid airtime and paying for goods and services) for its clients, within the laws of Zimbabwe.

EcoCash also declared its stance on promoting safe and legal transactions and would not be held liable for any losses arising from the use of its platform to engage in “illegal” activities such as Ponzi schemes.

This public statement effectively distances EcoCash from whatever is happening at MMM Global Zimbabwe and any other illegal activities.

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By the day, MMM Global Zimbabwe is starting to show signs of collapsing with members’ “mavros” (its digital currency) being frozen in their accounts since the 9th of August 2016 and expected to be accessible by the 15th of September 2016.

However, one has to wonder whether MMM ever marketed itself using the EcoCash platform.

Why would EcoCash come out and make a public statement if they are as clean as they claim to be?

Maybe they are reacting to something much bigger than what they claim?

The RBZ released an identical statement, warning the public against participating in Ponzi and pyramid schemes, but unlike EcoCash, their statement was in the interest of the public’s welfare.

EcoCash is not warning the public to stop participating in “illegal” activities, its only interest is protecting itself by saying it is not a part of it.

EcoCash seems to view a transaction as a transaction, a fair assumption considering they just provide a platform for you to do it.

But, I do believe unlike the RBZ, EcoCash could actually do something about these “illegal activities” and are conveniently choosing not to.

I also believe EcoCash has and still is turning a blind eye to money laundering and illegal activities in Zimbabwe.

MMM Global has already been accused of money laundering in China, Russia and South Africa.

Banks and financial institutions in those countries made swift moves to shut down any accounts with irregular activity.

It is hard to imagine that EcoCash does not have the necessary facilities or instruments to monitor irregular account patterns.

Surely if an account was transacting a maximum of $200 a month and now moving upwards of $3000 a week should raise some kind of suspicion.

There is the argument that we have moved to a cashless society.

From what I have witnessed most entrepreneurs and businesses have been using EcoCash for their transactions way before the cash crisis and continue to do so, their accounts will adjust in reasonable proportion to their previous activity.

It is the accounts that have a sudden irregular activity that Econet should be concerned with.

Dealing with money laundering is not something new to Zimbabwe,

Standard Chartered Zimbabwe around June of this year froze clients’ accounts due to changes in account transactional patterns.

Acting in accordance with the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, StanChart requested affected clients to report to their nearest branch with identification to explain the new transaction activity, and until then all cash withdrawals were restricted.

I don’t expect EcoCash to do this, though, they benefit immensely from all illegal and legal transactions that happen in the country.

But in the long term, we need better clarity on its position on money laundering.

Are mobile money platforms not governed by the same Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act of Zimbabwe?

Surely if this is the case its a huge oversight by the relevant authorities as they are giving a free pass to schemes like MMM to extract hard currency from the economy.

It is interesting that so many institutions are coming out and asserting their position against MMM, and also exposing the regulatory weakness of Zimbabwe. 

I am no legal expert so correct me if I am wrong. 

You can find the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act here.

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31 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    Careful, this article is a not inflammatory. I’m sure econet does not have any request to ban an illegal activity and that is done by authorities. Its just the same as being scammed through credit card pay out. The person who gets scammed through credit card pay out ponzi scheme is the owner of the card. They have to complain to the police, econet, investigations, court and corrective action taken not on rumours. In this instance econet in my opinion is very clean. And the moment you put money laundering and a company’s name you have to do better than dish unverified info/opinions otherwise it comes to a smear campaign. Do the basics at the very least. I have to declare my Interests here. I do like yr articles but this is not a responsible one and doesn’t meet minimum Level of expectation kkkkkkk

  2. Takanaka says:

    The writer of the article wrote with his heart and not his head. I have a suspicion he is an Econet hater. I hope he is not agitating to have Econet banned

  3. Llodza says:

    Possibly he participated in MMM and was scammed hence his misplaced anger at the wrong institution. I think he should have directed his anger at himself for trying to get rich quickly in an unorthodox manner.

  4. Macd Chip says:

    Batsirai Chikadaya, just lick your wounds and make sure you will not repeat ”investing” in ponzi pyramid scams again. You need to write more informative articles for techzim and earn your dollars from hardwork not these Easy Money scams you people get drawn into.
    Every ”clever” person l met here in Zim who is ”techwise” was talking about how to invest their money into that.

    Econet and Ecocash are not responsible for your naivity!! If robbers use highway roads to lay on people and rob them, is that Zinara’s fault?

    1. Ali Boum Nigel says:

      Looool, this comment sums it up, this article was written by someone who got scammed by MMM. Econet is very clean, its the fault of those who want fast bucks, Econet has nothing to do with those scams, its there to facilitate payments

  5. lamsig07 says:

    A basic understanding of how MMM is doing these transactions through EcoCash would have helped you better than the shallow article you ended up presenting. MMM uses a platform through which users send each other some funds so to anyone else, these are just two people sending each other some money, genuinely legal. So EcoCash would not even be able to track such transactions, even if they wanted to. The reason why they had to distance themselves from such schemes is simply because some people have a misconception that since ecocash is the vehicle used by users to send money, Econet also owns or rather supports MMM.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s your money and you’re responsible for it. Zim mentality of blaming everyone else except your own stupidity needs to stop.

  7. Shamiswai says:

    Vanhu vakurwadziwa neMMM kudai nhai

    1. Macd Chip says:

      Ngatimirei musi wa15 usvike tione kuti ichavhura here! Matopa MMM mkana wekuti vatore mari yavo yese yange iri muEcocash vashaike vasati vabatwa imi makangogarira gwiyo sembwa!

      The Nija boys are busy getting the money out using fake IDs they bought and used to open ecocash accounts.

      This is one area bond note would have been usefull.

  8. Lee says:

    Please Mr RBZ dont accuse Mr Ecocash he knows nothing about MMM. And he was never and will never be related to MMM. The money we sent to each other is on our own circle. Dont be jelous for the service charges they get from us. Otherwise bring your own baby like Ecocash which you’re not able because you already failed us as we are in multi-currency +bond era. Mr Ecocash dont be bothered because we never had a situation where you edged your customers to name the cash being send “grocery/school fees/transport monies” rather you make charges for the service. So how will Mr RBZ want to relate you to MMM. Mr Ecocash you are Zimbabwean and MMM Rusian by origin yet East-Africa Global Community as used by us Zimbabweans.

    Correction to all publishers there is no MMM Global Zimbabwe… we have East Africa Global Community ea-mmm.net .

    Please let alone Ecocash… And we will never stop being with MMM. “Hatichatore zvikwereti kumaBank, RBZ yarwadzirwa izvozvo”

    VIVA MMM!

  9. Shigara Mupunzwa says:

    Thank you RBZ for free advertising mmm to

    to the Zimbabwe community however please leave ECONET out of this they are not involved in any way. Have you heard about BITCOINS? This is how the mmm community using as it is international and safe. Please focus on very important issues on the ground rather than focusing your whole attention to mmm it is like chasing all illegal Ma rounds emari anochaja ma interest varying between 25 to 30 %

  10. lodza says:

    You are misguided whatever you call yourself. MMM is not a company, its us. mrwadziwa nei, you capitalists musingaguti. and who says MMM is illegal, tadya kumba kwenyu, tabira vanhu mari yavo?. Zvamusinganzwisise bvunzai. leave Ecocash alone. MMM for life. Viva MMM.

  11. Concerned Zimbabwean says:

    Mr Techzim. With all due respect, you are attempting to be more cruel than those you think are doing money laundering. Your wars with ECONET (Ecocash) can actually cost innocent Zimbabweans who are trying to make a living. Remember in a society like ours talking of jobs, formal business is not really going to help the unemployed and employed who are often not being paid. There are people who have given help already and they are awaiting to be given help through the system you are trying to destroy by making money yourself. The major reason why you are writing about MMM is mostly because of the HITs it is giving you. That means you don’t care that other people are going to loose their money by your actions as long as you have made yours through GoogleAds. I have all respect for you but on this one just stop and think a little bit. It’s not the Zimbabweans who created poverty in this nation but we all are fighting to get out. This makes the reason why people hoped into MMM which made it possible for people to help each other.

  12. Langton says:

    Surprisingly it liooks like you are looking for a scapegoat. One can easily use unconrolled Bitcoins for transacting? Why singling out Ecocash? On the other end…Why ddnt MMM allows all Mobile Money transfers like ZiIpcash, Telecash and OneWallet if they ddnt make an arrangement with Econet! Kuvhunduka chati kwatatra hunge une katurikwa!

  13. Frank says:

    I think TechZim is being paid by banks to decampaign MMM

  14. Anger at Madness says:

    Now i understand why educated people insist on blocking techzim from company networks.
    I open for the weekend and i am met with irresponsible and opinionated journalism. If econet were to list the mobile numbers of all the people doing MMM who is going to prosecute them. This guys have websites with their names and numbers yet the govt authorities, rbz, zimra, zrp, cid they all let them be. Then techzim finds an asipring ‘blogger’ to preach that econet must enforce the law

    1. So, your argument is, police, rbz etc.. haven’t done anything about possible money laundering that MMM promotes and so Econet should ignore it too?

  15. Munyaradzi says:

    I m sorry to those hu lost their monies. After reading the headline Is EcoCash turning a blind eye on money laundering and illegal activities?I had this question to ask? Suppose i transact (send money or receive money) in a drug deal or in a round table with my friends (ma round) and im prejudiced who do i blame? The mobile operator or myself. I was on several occasions asked by friends of mine to join this MMM thing and i have never wanted to risk thse ponzi schemes. I guess the lesson is clear here to all of us. Lastly i think RBZ must act within its powers

  16. Billie says:

    MMM is NOT Ponzi scheme. Why? Because it is not meant to cheat and to steal all the money! In MMM we change this unfair world, by providing help to each other. No one can prohibit such actions, because this is absolutely legal. MMM for me is the only way to get out of this poverty! If you want to know more: http://ea-mmm.net/?=123hero

  17. RONALD MARUMBI says:

    This report is just a hoax. The reporter doesn’t know what is happening in MMM. I am a participant of MMM East Africa and I prefer MMM to any other financial institutions. Because I know MMM, which really pays and takes care of me. MMM is not a bank, or an investment company, it is not an online business. MMM do not have bank accounts because it is not a company. It is a social financial network where ordinary people help each other financially. There is no central account where all the money is kept. MMM just monitors and regulates how participants send money to each other. MMM depends on honest and trust. The MMM ideology is to create a fair financial system which helps ordinary people. MMM – is a mutual network, where people provide mavro as help directly to each other through automatic Private Offices via internet with a growing help index Mavro. The Power of Giving lets you receive in 23 times more than you gave to others in a year!!! MMM is absolutely legal and does not break any laws. Because there are only money transfers between private persons and nothing more. It is impossible to forbid MMM. The same way it is impossible to forbid people manage their own money the way they like. Thus they need to forbid the whole private property institution. So everything is absolutely clear with the lawfulness. There are no violations and they won’t be! MMM itself is more honest (in 100 times!) than any other bank, or any financial institution with their licenses or permissions. Because they all lie to you, hold or keep back something and so on. And only MMM doesn’t keep back you in silence, doesn’t hide anything and tell everything honestly and openly. “Yes, you take a great risk! Yes, no guarantees! Yes, you may lose everything at any moment!” – Did You hear the same before anywhere? Only in MMM. Join MMM now for total financial freedom and participate with your spare money. Register for free here: http://ea-mmm.net/?i=marumbironnie@gmail.com OR Inbox your email and phone number for free registration: +263773072707; marumbironnie@gmail.com

  18. Tapiwa says:

    MMM is not collapsing and it has a history of paying. However since there is no central bank and the money is coming from us participants, we have to join hands and provide help so that we can get help. MMM is doing wonders in other countries where the participants understand the ideology. Join now and we can help you ea-mmm.net

  19. becky says:

    MMM is very reliable it has got nothing to do with eco cash.
    there os total financial freedom with MMM.

  20. Freitas says:

    This article is obviously all opinion. And the writer seems to have beef with EcoCash, and is using the misconceptions he’s heard about MMM as a tool to get at them.
    MMM simply facilitates for members to send funds to each other… using the easiest means available. It doesn’t speak in anyway to the means it uses. The members declare the instruments that they use. MMM does not dictate it. So, in essence, EcoCash can no more distance itself from MMM than it can distance itself from it’s clients.
    MMM provides a means for people to assist each other financially in a way that no other institution would. The source of the huge disparity we have between the rich and the poor today is the central bank! If person A wants to send money to person B, and I act as the central bank, I can decide how much I want to take from the transaction and neither person would have a choice but to let me. That’s how the central banks make money. MMM is not a central ban so person B always gets what person A sends. That’s the ideology of MMM, and it’s the basis to end financial inequality. You should join the financial revolution! Register at http://ea-mmm.net/?i=doninghana.

  21. Calvin Marumbi says:

    Well, I am a participant of MMM East Africa and I prefer MMM to all other banks in this world. This is because I know MMM takes care of me. I am happy to provide help with my spare and to get help when in need. This article is wrong and people don’t understand what is going on in MMM. MMM paid before, pays now and will pay in the future! Together we are changing the world! MMM will offer you opportunities you can never get from anywhere else. By the way MMM is fully legal since there is no law against donations. You can join MMM freely here: http://ea-mmm.net/?i=calvinmarumbi@gmail.com

  22. guide says:

    Wel lam a member of MMM EastAfrica and l prefer MMM to all other banks in the world,because it improves my standard of living.Lam glad to provide assistance with my spare money and l always get help when l need it.This article is wrong and some people do not understand the ideology of MMM.It pays today,tomorow and forever.It is legal since there is no law against donations you can join me freely onhttp://ea-mmm.net/?i=guidewekwa@yahoo.com

  23. fadil says:

    only we the participant of MMM now what is really MMM, what i want us to now is that every financial institutions is against MMM,why because of their justice and rapid growing so they are looking way to see MMM is crash which is very hard to be honest MMM is the only financial community that provide its members with truly information have you every hard a bank telling his customers to invest with their spare money and i have never see or hard a bank that can grantees his investors 30% or 50% monthly. have they no have the ability to pay ? they have is just because of the injustice of their financial system but these 30% or 50% is granted to all mmm members. MMM is not a bank, MMM does not collect your money, MMM is not an online business, HYIP, investment or MLM program. MMM is a community where people help each other. mmm gives you a technical platform which helps millions of participants worldwide to connect those who need help to those who are ready to provide help, for free all transferred funds to another participant are your help given by your own good will to another one and you to if you need help another participant will help you. MMM change my life and many people MMM is just a platform where people help each other as long as we the participant can be loyal to continue helping each other MMM can live for long. so let continue helping each other fight the injustice of world financial system. is only the non participant that is against MMM many people become financially free because of MMM we the participant are the weapons of the MMM lets fight the financial injustice by continue providing help together we change the world. you can join us to be financially free http://ea-mmm.net/?i=yelwafadil@gmail.com

  24. fadil says:

    MMM is not a ponzi do you know MMM has provided charity and help poor people in need for food, etc? Do your research before comment MMM in not a scam. i prefer using MMM than banks MMM is a platform where people help each other. i am participant of MMM and i have never get scam nor any other MMM participant is scam joins us enjoy the benefit
    http://ea-mmm.net/?i=yelwafadil@gmail.com

  25. linda says:

    MMM is there to emancipate people from financial slavery.We are slaves of banks , they use our money to make profit for themselves and the real owner of money gets nothing. MAVRO FREEZING CANCELLATION was no even a response to public scrutiny but a result of how the system is current perfuming. For financial freedom join now http://ea-mmm.net/?i=lindamutuda7@gmail.com

  26. emmanuel says:

    Well, I am a participant of MMM East Africa. And I prefer this system to all the banks in the world. Just because I know, MMM takes care of me. I am happy to provide help and get help.
    The article is wrong, and people do not really understand what is going on in MMM.
    By the way, join me here: http://ea-mmm.net/?i=kamzviko@gmail.com

  27. emmanuel says:

    Well, I am a participant of MMM East Africa. And I prefer this system to all the banks in the world. Just because I know, MMM takes care of me. I am happy to provide help and get help.
    The article is wrong, and people do not really understand what is going on in MMM.
    By the way, join me here: http://ea-mmm.net/?i=kamzviko@gmail.com #4405

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