Hunting Facts, Telling Truth

Clampdown on illegal forex dealers intensifies

Clampdown on illegal forex dealers intensifies




The government has intensified its campaign against foreign exchange traders in an attempt to crush the thriving parallel market, which the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa blames for the downturn in the economy, it has been established.


The government gazetted a Statutory Instrument 213 of 2019 that states that trading in any currency, which is not the Zimbabwe dollar, carries a fine of $6000 and failure to pay results in the person involved jailed . The rule empowered the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to arrest and fine people and businesses that violate the Exchange control regulations.


The intensified crackdown comes after over 100 forex traders were apprehended by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) along with the police and other security agencies, for contravening the Exchange Control Act.



The illicit forex dealers who were apprehended last week in the capital Harare and Chitungwiza, have been detained in remand prison for more than five nights, in an apparent attempt by the government to send a strong message.


Police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the operation has intensified and that no detail will be overlooked.


He confirmed that this week has seen an increase in the arrests of forex dealers.


“We have so far arrested over 120 suspected money changers for contravening the Exchange Control Act but in the event that the suspects provide us with information on who their kingpins are , we will take action against them [ring leaders]. There will be no sacred cows this time as the law will take its course without fear or favour,” Nyathi said.


He added: “If the arrested suspects do not provide police with information, they will be heavily sentenced.


“We are working together with the FIU and there is no going back in the fight against illegal forex traders in the country. Our job is to ensure the law takes its course by arresting, compiling the dockets and submitting them to the National Prosecution Authority. The operation has intensified and is ongoing till we ensure there is sanity in the streets.


“There is no stopping for now as the fight is just beginning against the forex manipulators.”


The State denied the suspects bail on grounds that the offence is a serious one that attracts a jail sentence on conviction.


Yesterday, the suspects were reprimanded in custody and are set to testify in court on Monday next week.


The development comes as the FIU is both monitoring the account transactions and deploying the agents on the ground to complement police fighting against exchange rate manipulators.


Oliver Chiperesa, the director general of the FIU, also said the war has intensified as manipulators have evacuated the streets to do transactions in offices and behind doors.


“We are keeping an eye on a variety of bank account activities to look for any infractions,” Chiperesa said.


“On the ground, we are also giving our informants some money to purchase forex to see how the offenders carry out their business.



“If we catch them, we will permanently freeze the illegal forex dealers accounts.”


The blitz comes as on Monday this week Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has threatened to cripple money changers who have continued to illegally trade ZiG against the greenback.


VP Chiwenga said money changers should stop it, or else risk being rendered crippled.


“The buying and selling of ZiG on black market is a criminal offence similar to selling of gold illegally,” he warned.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy