Over 70 people and entities engaged in the business of buying and selling foreign exchange without a licence from the apex bank have been detained by Bank of Ghana employees working with the Ghana Police Service.
The action comes after a special operation the two institutions carried out on foreign exchange parallel market operators, also known as black market operators.
It is anticipated that the offenders who were found at hotspots in Accra’s Central Business District, specifically Rawlings Park, Makola, and Tudu, will be prosecuted.
The rapid devaluation of the local currency in comparison to the dollar and other important foreign currencies is allegedly caused by “Black Market” dealers.
Adjoa Konadu Torto, the head of the Bank of Ghana’s foreign exchange bureau, said in a statement to Citi News following the exercise that the action is a part of steps to stop the local currency’s free fall.
The Bank’s overall plan to clean up the foreign exchange market included this special operation. Other actions being taken include “intensifying public sensitization and media engagements to educate the general public on forex rules and regulations, including the need to avoid the black market; enforcement of compliance from licenced foreign exchange bureaux, particularly with the taking of customer identification (Ghana card) and issuance of an electronic receipt for every forex transaction,” she said.
In the upcoming days, she said, the exercise will continue in other regions of the nation.
The Bank also strongly advised the general public to refrain from using the services of foreign exchange businesses that operate illegally.
The public is advised by the Bank to refrain from conducting foreign exchange transactions without a licence. Public members who support the operations of black-market operators are equally guilty in court. The general public must always transact with authorised foreign exchange (forex) bureaux authorised by the Bank of Ghana, she added.
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