17 April 2018

Liberia: Cbl Warns Illegal Money Exchangers

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has warned that all illegal money exchange operators and businesses engaged in foreign exchange activities in the country have up until Tuesday, May 1, 2018, to regularize their status or risk confiscation of their money and/or shutting down of their businesses.

In a press release, the CBL said a Joint Task Force, comprising the CBL, stakeholder government agencies, the National Association of Foreign Exchange Bureaux (NAFEBOL) and law enforcement officers will begin a rigorous campaign in May 2018 aimed at weeding out illegal foreign exchange operators.

The Bank is advising all illegal money exchangers and other businesses concerned to take the necessary steps by having their businesses duly registered and licensed by the CBL to deal in foreign exchange business in order to avoid embarrassment.

CBL said the Bank is working with NAFEBOL to bring together smaller "money exchangers" under a more structured arrangement that would allow them to formalize their operations in keeping with the requirements of the CBL and the Government's Pro-Poor Agenda.

All those concerned are advised to take due note and act accordingly, as the Joint Task Force sets out as of May, 2018, to begin removing illegal foreign exchange operators from the streets.

In addition, the Bank will work with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to monitor businesses violating the foreign exchange laws of the country by operating as unlicensed foreign exchange dealers.

The move by Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) comes amidst concerns over the continued arbitrary hiking of the exchange rate by illegal money exchangers and some businesses despite repeated warnings by the CBL cautioning those involved to desist. The action by these unlicensed money exchangers, the Bank noted, is in direct violation of regulations governing the Foreign Exchange transactions in the country, the new Financial Institutions Act of 1999 and the CBL Act.

These unauthorized money exchangers continue to undermine the CBL's efforts to help mitigate exchange rate volatility, thereby resulting in the escalation of the prices of goods and services on the Liberian market which is significantly contributing to the hardship on the ordinary Liberian people and is counterproductive to the Government's Pro-Poor agenda.

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