RBZ swoops on errant foreign currency traders

John Mangudya

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has suspended the licences of two more bureaux de change and charged another two for flouting foreign currency exchange regulations.

In addition, the RBZ said it had identified a number of bureaux de change that were operating illegally, as the central bank tightens control of foreign currency exchange regulations. 

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, RBZ governor John Magudya said disciplinary action had commenced against the two bureaux de change whose licences were suspended last week.

“Both Cash Twenty Four and Crediconnect were referred to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which upon carrying out further investigations, has charged both for not adhering to money laundering requirements, inter alia, failure to record and report transactions as required by the law,” he said.

“The two institutions carried out several off book foreign currency purchases and sales, which they did not declare in periodic regulatory regulatory returns.”

Mangudya said Cash Twenty Four had pled guilty to the charge and had been fined $2,5 million, while the case against Crediconnect was still pending.

The two companies’ licences were suspended two weeks ago, with the central saying it had information showing that the two institutions had been engaging in illicit foreign currency transactions, which are adversely affecting the economy.

The RBZ said it had also found that Shons Finance Services and Kwik Forex had either not been declaring or had been under declaring their foreign exchange transactions in breach of the law.

The two companies’ licences were suspended.

The central bank said Stallion Financial Services, Forbes Financial Services and Juso Global were operating without licences.

All these cases have been reported to the FIU.

The Zimbabwe dollar has been on a freefall on the parallel market and the RBZ believes that this is driven by errant bureaux de changes among others, who are fuelling illicit trades.

The government licensed the bureaux de changes in an effort to help boost foreign the country’s foreign currency trade and improve forex reserves.