Police and the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) have resolved to partner in overcoming illegal exchange of currencies in order to protect the economy against adverse effects that come with it.
Through this partnership, both institutions agreed to educate the business community about setting up legitimate and legally recognised forex bureaus instead of conducting “black market” forex activities that cause inflation and other economic challenges.
Through the partnership, police carried out investigations on potential illegal money changers and arrested eight suspects in Kigali on October 6.
The suspects were arrested in separate locations as they conducted unauthorised money exchanges.
They are currently held at Muhima Police Station pending further investigations, Superintendent of Police Modeste Mbabazi, Police Spokesperson for Central Region, said.
Mbabazi noted that cases of malpractices in foreign exchange occur in various forms contrary to regulatory frameworks – thus making it difficult for such activities to be monitored or evaluated.
“All those who seek to exchange currency need to organise themselves and open up a legal business, rather than conduct black market exchanges that are not beneficial to the country,” he said.
“Police calls upon the business community to cooperate in stopping this illegal activity, as well to sensitise their counterparts about legal practices that benefit the country.”
Francoise Kagoyire, the Director of Bank Supervision and Forex Bureaus at BNR, commended their partnership with police in this effort.
She noted that illegal foreign exchange trading include the buying or selling of foreign currency by an individual or company which is not licensed.
“Any person or company that has not obtained approval from BNR to conduct forex business should not indulge in this activity, otherwise they are breaking the law through fraudulent behaviour,” she said.
“It is such activities that give leeway to the entry of counterfeit money because both the buyer and the seller are usually in a hurry to conduct the transaction because they know it is illegal. On top of that, operators in this illegal business use inflated rates that may undermine the value of our national currency,” he said.