It’s Now Illegal To Be In WhatsApp Groups Where Forex Is Advertised
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has warned that it is illegal to be in WhatsApp groups where people advertise to buy and sell foreign currency. The central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has warned that it will be taking action against people in such WhatsApp groups including those who are passive in the groups, colloquially known as ‘being in the terraces’.
This is the central bank’s latest measure to try to stop the weakening of the Zimbabwe Dollar which has been in free fall in the last few weeks. The monetary authorities have been battling to control the fall of the local currency and have been targeting illegal foreign currency dealers who they accuse of being behind the collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar.
Below is the statement which was released by the Financial Intelligence Unit which iHarare is publishing in its entirety.
ACTION AGAINST ILLEGAL FOREIGN CURRENCY TRADING ADVERTS
1. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been monitoring social media platforms where foreign currency dealers have been advertising and promoting their illegal trade. The FIU is aware of WhatsApp groups that have mushroomed in the country for the specific purpose of promoting and facilitating illegal foreign currency trade.
2. The FIU, in collaboration with the police, banks, mobile money / mobile phone service providers and relevant regulatory agencies, has embarked on an exercise to identify and take action against individuals who create, advertise on or participate (actively or passively) in WhatsApp groups or other platforms for illegal foreign currency trading.
3. The FIU and relevant institutions will take the following immediate actions:
• The mobile phone numbers used to join or advertise on the illegal groups will be shared with mobile phone operators and POTRAZ for barring;
• Other mobile phone numbers registered in the names of such persons will also be identified and barred;
• Bank accounts owned by a person so identified will be frozen and the person will be blacklisted and barred from accessing banking services with any bank; and
• Identified persons will be investigated and prosecuted for illegally trading in or advertising illegal trading in foreign currency.
4. Members of the public are requested to report to the FIU any person, mobile phone number or bank account that continue to be used to engage in or advertise illegal foreign currency activities, using the following contact details:
FIU mobile and WhatsApp number: 0714039897
Financial Intelligence Unit
15 June 2020
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