Zimbabwe tightens crackdown on illegal foreign currency dealers

(161129) -- HARARE, Nov. 29, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on Nov. 28, 2016 in Zimbabwe's capital Harare shows the new bond notes that start circulating in the country. Zimbabwe on Monday added a new "surrogate" currency to the nine already in its multi-currency basket amid mixed feelings from the banking public. (Xinhua)(yy)

Zimbabwe’s central bank on Tuesday blacklisted 47 more individuals for allegedly advertising and facilitating illegal foreign exchange transactions and money laundering through social media.

This came after 30 individuals were “blacklisted and barred from accessing financial and mobile telecommunication services for the same reasons” on September 28, said John Mangudya, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

The governor thanked the public for their information that is helping the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to identify and take action against the culprits.

When the RBZ blacklisted the 30 individuals, the FIU instructed banks, mobile money operators and other financial service providers to identify and freeze any accounts operated by the identified individuals and bar them from accessing financial services for a period of two years, Mangudya said.

The FIU had also requested the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe to bar them from operating mobile businesses.

Since then, 14 suspected illegal foreign currency dealers have been arrested, including four company directors, on charges of money laundering.

It is reported that the current rates in Zimbabwe’s black market are more lucrative than those in the official banking system.