Police blitz nets 100 black market forex dealers

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By Staff Reporter

AT least 107 illegal foreign currency dealers have been nabbed in an ongoing countrywide police blitz that reportedly involves members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

This was revealed in a Wednesday statement by police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi who said the operation was continuing over an indefinite period.

“Police, having noted that illegal foreign currency dealers were posing a serious security and economic threat to the country, embarked on a countrywide operation to enforce Statutory Instrument 122A of 2017, Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 (No 5), which criminalise the illegal trading in foreign currency.

“The operation is being done in conjunction with relevant stakeholders,” Nyathi said.

He also said in the past week and half of the operation, a further 58 had been arrested for “blocking” pavements.

Police said the operation will continue “until sanity returns in all cities and towns”.

The campaign has seen some popular city streets notorious for the vice being conspicuously deserted with dealers now relying on their loyal clients to call them on their mobiles for meetings at different rendezvous.

Since the operation started, black market rates of the US dollar have significantly gone down after surging to above 500 percent some two weeks ago.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week said foreign currency dealers had become a “national security threat” which he threatened to deal with.

Mnangagwa also said authorities were also working on legal measures to deal with the vice.

Four top managers at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have since been suspended pending an investigation into claims of involvement in a multi-million dollar cash scandal spilling into the black market.