The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) makes strides in cracking the whip on the parallel market as it rolls out a new incentivized scheme for those who provide intel on illegal actors.
The central bank believes that taking this step will be an additional instrument to stabilizing financial criminal activity that has plagued the country in recent weeks. Moreover, as the regulatory body continues to iron out the issue, it has called upon for source citation on the foreign currency sources for those involved on getting permits of import on the selected basic commodities accessed through the franco valuta scheme.
NBE has also stated that it has frozen 391 bank accounts in connection to involvement with the parallel market and illegal money transfer.
On Friday October 7, Yinager Dessie, Governor of NBE, along with his vices gave a briefing on the latest situation that the central bank has taken on the foul players of the illegal market, the contraband and tactics used by various cartels in money transfer.
The governor explained that they have been tracking, investigating and evaluating the illegal actors through their storm of activities on the black market in addition to their illicit financial flows and illegal remittance.
“The government has given a license for money transfer to companies which carry out their business smoothly through financial institutions. However, there are also licensed companies who are involved in the illegal remittance. There are also individuals who are working with other collaborators abroad engaging in illegal money transfer,” the Governor pointed out, adding, “As per the detailed study and investigations, as of Thursday October 6, we have suspended 391 accounts which have abuse the government system.”
He added that further legal measures through legal cases have been filed to the Ministry of Justice. According to Yinager, the collaborators of these illegal activities at the various banks will also be held accountable.
He also underlined that the government is taking several measures to stabilize the illegal activities.
One of the new instruments is the implementation of a new directive that provides privilege for collaborators who inform illegal actors to the regulatory body.
The Governor said that as per the new directive, NBE has facilitated reward payouts for those who provide intel on the foul players, citing that rewards will be got off the property of the illegal actors.
Yinager called on the public to provide intel on those seen depositing birr or foreign currency against the rule of the NBE and for those known for the malicious activity in illegal money transfer and parallel market involvement, and on those who accumulate gold illegally.
The other measure NBE has emplaced is the reinstatement of the franco valuta condition that was lifted on April 8 by Ministry of Finance.
As per the new decision individuals who want to import Edible oil, wheat, sugar, instant milk for infants, and rice should come up with the bank statements or source of the foreign currency.
The parallel market that has been on fire in recent weeks has sharply dropped for about a week plus now. Sources from Togo Wajale, a border town at Somali region, which is the major hub for hard currency fleet, said that the black market exchange rate shows a sharp reduction every day and it is now at about 78 birr per dollar.