21 more firms said to have abused forex auction system: RBZ

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RBZ WhatsApp Image 2019 09 23 at 10.34.13

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says 21 more companies are facing penalties after they were found to be abusing the foreign currency auction system.

This brings the total number of companies outed by the RBZ to 39. Of the 39, 27 have been assessed civil penalties while 12 others have been issued with written warnings for aiding or abetting the flouting of exchange control regulations.

In a statement, governor Joh Mangudya said those assessed civil penalties are barred from the auctions until they pay, and could be permanently blacklisted from the auctions if their breach of regulations was very serious.

Mangudya said after investigations by the central bank and the Financial Intelligence Unit, another 21 had been found in breach of regulations, including transfer pricing, use of fraudulent import documentation, failure to bank cash and conducting illegal foreign exchange transactions.

Unlike the previous list, the 21 were not named.

Towards the end of May, Government announced Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021 Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures), which prohibits business operators from charging above the official exchange rate and empowers authorities to punish those that refuse to accept the Zimbabwe dollar for local transactions.

“The bank wishes to inform the public of the following corrective and punitive actions that have since been taken against some entities for abuse of the foreign exchange auction system, manipulation of the exchange rate and non-compliance with exchange control rules and regulations,” Mangudya said in a statement.

“In addition to the 18 entities named in the Press statement on June 15, 2021, 21 more been investigated by the bank’s FIU and found guilty of various breaches that include transfer pricing, use of fraudulent import documentation, failure to bank cash and conducting illegal foreign exchange transactions.

“The punitive measures include prohibition from participating in the foreign exchange auctions until the full payment of the fines imposed or permanent blacklisting from participating in the foreign exchange auctions, depending on the seriousness of the breach,” he said.

 

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