By Musawenkosi Sibanda
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) nabbed abusers of mobile phone lines and social media on allegations of illegal foreign exchange transactions and money laundering activities.
According to the central bank the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) identified 29 individuals who were abusing the facility who will face a suspension from accessing financial services for a period of two years.
“The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has identified individuals listed hereunder who are abusing mobile telecommunications services and other social media platforms to promote and facilitate illegal foreign exchange transactions and money laundering activities.
The FIU has instructed banks, mobile money operators and other financial service providers to identify and freeze any accounts operated by these individuals and, further, to bar them from accessing financial services for a period of two years ” , reads the statement .
The development has sparked outrage from those who operate and benefit from illegal foreign exchange transactions .
Tadiwanashe Mukondiwa a forex trader said the RBZ’s stance on forex transactions was unfair.
“This is my source of income it is depressing and heartbreaking . Measures such as these put us at a disadvantage because were are not employed and there are not many employment opportunities ” , he said.
Nokulunga Nyoni another citizen said that it was taking its toll on them because bank rates are very low compared to those on the illegal market .
“The bank rate is too low compared to the rates that we get on the black market . The RBZ is violating our rights to choose were we can change our money which suits or meets our requirements. to make matters worse accessing money from the bank is a struggle.”
The FIU however notified that it will be working with law enforcement agencies, to monitor various social media and bank accounts to identify and take action against perpetrators of illicit dealings.