By Canisius Mushibwe
The Zimbabwean reserve bank (RBZ) has ordered financial service providers and banks to freeze accounts belonging to 30 nationals believed to lead dealers of a parallel foreign currency market.
The bank said their actions are destabilizing the country’s economy.
RBZ governor, John Mangudya said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had identified that the ring leaders involved in the vice are utilizing mobile telecommunications services and numerous social media facilities to carry out illegal foreign exchange transactions.
As a result, FIU has instructed banks, financial service providers such as those offering mobile money services to identify and freeze any accounts operated by the named individuals.
“Bar them from accessing financial services for a period of two years, with immediate effect,” Mangudya said.
Mangudya added that the FIU has further requested the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to bar the said perpetrators from operating mobile phone lines. The Zimbabwean central bank chief said FIU in partnership with law enforcement agencies, will continue monitoring social media and bank accounts to identify and bring to book people involved in illegal dealings.
And in order to affect the ban on the named culprits and bring them to justice, FIU has forwarded their names and credentials to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
The central bank in the country has put up a raft of measures in order to stabilize the currency. However, the increase in illicit activities by criminals to use mobile platforms for their deals poses a threat to development.
Such parallel market dealers have been speculated to be fanning the flame that is causing the local currency to depreciate on a non-economic basis.