6 December 2017

Sudan: New Central Bank of Sudan Currency Directive for Expat Remittances

Khartoum — The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) has instructed all banks in Sudan to hand over remittances by Sudanese expatriates abroad in the same currency as the transfer.

In a circular on Tuesday the CBoS instructed all banks operating in the country "to receive and deliver remittances of expatriates through branches to be designated by the banks for the purpose of overcoming obstacles".

The CBoS says that it has "committed all banks to provide the best banking services to the Sudanese public working abroad".

Hard currency

The current downward spiral of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) against hard currencies such as the US Dollar is exacerbated by a shortage of hard currency in the country. The US Dollar was trading at SDG 26 on the streets of Khartoum on Monday.

Recent weeks have seen a clampdown on currency traders on the parallel market within Sudan, as well as abroad.

Minister of Interior Hamid Manan reported his Ministry filed 37 complaints against foreign currency traders and dealers outside of Sudan. "They have conducted acts of sabotage of the national economy by dealing with foreign exchange, money laundering and financing terrorism", the press statement yesterday read.

Presidential Committee

The presidential committee which is tasked with controlling the Sudanese pound rate, held a third meeting to discuss the exchange rate control measures and the arrest warrants that have been issued against dealers and traders of currency outside Sudan. More information will be announced after their arrest, Manan said.

In addition the Central Bank of Sudan has been directed to seize their accounts. If the suspects do not appear in Sudan, Manan claimed that they will be arrested by Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organisation) in accordance with international cooperation to hand over fugitives and wanted criminals.

In November, a number of currency traders fled abroad, specifically to Ethiopia and the Gulf countries, to avoid arrest in Sudan. Following an unprecedented drop of the Sudanese pound value, presidential directives raised the penalty for trading in currency to 10-years' imprisonment from three years, and the confiscation of money. The new charges of 'sabotaging of the national economy, money laundering and financing terrorism' are punishable by death or life imprisonment.

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