Public backs gov’t to weed out black market culprits

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The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) discloses that a flow of tips are streaming in from the public, following its call of cooperation to crackdown on financial foul players who are backtracking Ethiopia’s economy.
According to information that Capital obtained from NBE, the financial sector’s regulatory body, the public has been tipping the regulatory body on several suspicious activities.
Recently, the financial regulatory body took stern and proactive measures on those indulging in;, counterfeit currencies, parallel gold market, taking cash on hand against the NBE directive and other relevant crimes, by inviting and encouraging the public to play a role on tackling the issue.
“We are receiving tips from the public at a very positive and broad range,” an NBE official, who does not have the authority to speak, further on the case told Capital.
Abate Mitiku, Director, Change Management, Planning and Communication Directorate at NBE, early last week told bank CEOs to play an integral role on the mission set by the central bank in collaboration with security apparatuses.
He said that banks have to create awareness on such activities and keep their staff abreast as well as make sure that staffs are not involved in crooked activities.
Some sector experts have put blame on some clerks citing that they are in cahoots with the foul players with regards to illegal remittance at bank branches as well as in the black market.
“Collaborating on the case will help on bank imaging and transparency. Banks should also tighten their controlling measures to weed out illegal activities from their staff,” Abate emphasized, adding, “It is a national issue, thus, as a stakeholder, banks must take part in tackling the problem head on.”
Recently, the central bank disclosed that a task force comprising relevant security bodies and itself was established to crack a whip on illicit financial activities that have been pricking Ethiopia’s economic market.
The task force comprising of financial intelligence, policy and other security apparatuses besides the financial regulatory body has been formed to manage the operation.
NBE announced the implementation of a new directive that also provides benefits to those that collaborate with the central bank and authorities to sniff out the illegal market actors.
As per the new directive, NBE has facilitated reward payouts for those who provide intel on the foul players, citing that rewards will come from the assets of the illegal actors, once they’re assets are seized.
To this end, on October 19, relevant NBE officials disclosed details on how the informants can safely provide intel on the criminals.
Since the parallel market busted exponentially wider in contrast to the legal forex market various stringent measures have been put in place to combat the issue and to close the gap on the exchange disparities.
NBE and the Financial Intelligence Services have frozen hundreds of bank accounts of individuals and companies including betting companies who are involved in illegal remittance.
The illegal gold market has also grabbed headlines to which the regulatory body is paying much attention.