Officials of the Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, have arrested over 70 individuals and entities engaged in the business of buying and selling foreign exchange without a licence from the apex bank.
The move follows a special operation conducted by the two institutions on foreign exchange parallel market operators, otherwise known as black market operators.
The perpetrators who were identified at hot spots within the Central Business District of Accra, specifically the Rawlings Park, Makola, and Tudu are expected to face prosecution.
The ‘Black Market’ dealers are said to be contributing to the rapid fall of the local currency to the dollar and the other major foreign currencies.
Speaking to Citi News after the exercise, Head of Forex Exchange Bureau at the Bank of Ghana, Adjoa Konadu Torto, noted that the move is part of measures to check the free fall of the local currency.
“This special operation was part of the Bank’s overall strategy to sanitize the foreign exchange market. Other measures being put in place include enforcement of compliance from licensed foreign exchange bureaux particularly with the taking of customer identification (Ghana card) and issuance of electronic receipt for every forex transaction; intensified public sensitization and media engagements to educate the general public on forex rules and regulations, including the need to avoid the black market,” she said.
She indicated that the exercise will continue in other parts of the country in the coming days.
The Bank further issued a strong caution to the general public to desist from engaging in the services of foreign exchange businesses operating without a licence.
“The Bank cautions the general public to desist from engaging in foreign exchange business without a licence. Members of the public who patronise the activities of black market operators are equally guilty before the law. The general public must always trade with the Bank of Ghana licensed foreign exchange (forex) bureaux,” she noted.