Central Bank Freezes 391 Bank Accounts over Illegal Money Transfer

ADDIS ABABA – The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has frozen the bank accounts of 391 individuals linked with illegal foreign currency transfer activities.

Central Bank Governor Yinager Dessie told reporters today that illegal transactions and the exchange of foreign currencies have been contributing to the existing inflation.

Various administrative actions are being taken against entities engaged in illegal foreign currency transfer activities, according to the Governor.

The suspension of the bank accounts of 391 individuals is a part of the ongoing crackdown on illegal money transfer activities.

These individuals, who are now a subject of an ongoing investigation, will be indicted, as per the Governor.

The gap between the official and parallel exchange rates has recently widened, with a rate of exchange for a US dollar reaching in the neighborhood of a100 birr in the black market.

Some experts who closely follow the exchange rate highlight that the widening gap is a result of sabotage by those who do not seek the national interest of the country, except their own.

Yinager stressed strict action will be taken against those who are engaged in the black market, adding the ongoing crackdown against entities engaged in illegal remittance work as well as collaborators will continue.

NBE also says measures will be taken on individuals who collude with illegal actors, particularly those working in financial institutions.

“It is necessary to take administrative and legal measures against people involved in these illegal acts,” the Central Bank governor stated.

In addition, a reward system has been set up for citizens who provide information about illicit money transfers and persons engaged in the activity, according to the central bank.

It involves monetary rewards for informants tipping officials on a range of illegal activities including counterfeiting and distribution of fake banknotes, as well as transferring of illegal foreign currency and the black market.

– EM News/agencies

Featured Image Caption: The National Bank of Ethiopia Governor Yinager Dessie (Ph.D.) speaking to CEOS of Commercial Bank CEOs of banks on August 9, 2022.

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