Jun 18, 2008, 6:33 AM
The Office of the President has warned against what it called the creation of an artificial shortage of foreign exchange, especially the US Dollar, by “speculators and unscrupulous businesses.”
In a press release issued late Friday, the presidency said the Office of the President reserves the right to close any business, Bureau de Change, Bank or any company that is bent on sabotaging the economy of The Gambia without any further notice.
Describing the trend as unacceptable and unjustifiable, the government also warned that very drastic action will be taken against any individual, or corporate body found culpable of the hoarding of and speculating in foreign exchange.
Below we reproduce the full text of the press release:
It has come to the notice of the Office of the President that speculators and some unscrupulous businesses are creating an artificial shortage of foreign exchange, especially of the United States Dollar, thereby causing its unprecedented appreciation against the Gambian dalasi with the sole intention of hiking the prices of basic commodities and causing hardship to the people of The Gambia.
The Office of the President wishes to inform the general public, particularly those involved in the foreign exchange business, that this criminal trend is unacceptable and unjustifiable as the international market value of all foreign currencies is open and no secret.
Those involved in foreign exchange transactions including the Bureau de Change or Foreign Exchange Bureaus, Banks and Mobile Telephone Operators, are hereby warned that very drastic action will be taken against any individual, or body corporate found culpable of hoarding of and speculating in foreign exchange.
This office reserves the right to close any business, Bureau de Change, Bank or any company that is bent on sabotaging the economy of The Gambia without any further notice.
Anybody found with foreign currency like CFA and is not registered to deal in such will face the full force of the law in addition to forfeiting such to the state.
As a first step to curb this nefarious activity or criminal enterprise, a moratorium has been imposed with immediate effect on all shipping of the US Dollar out of the country with possible exemption for essential importation, which must obtain prior clearance from the Office of the President.
In the same vein, a team of enforcement agents have been directed to investigate, monitor all Foreign Exchange Bureaus and unregistered agents, as well as any other institution, and are authorized to confiscate any US Dollar currency going out of the country without prior approval.
They have the full authority to investigate, seize as well as prosecute those found to be hoarding any foreign currency, especially the US Dollar. All the Commercial Banks have facilities for the opening of foreign currency accounts and, therefore, there will be no excuse for any institution, individual or group found with large cash amounts of any foreign exchange, especially the UD Dollars, Euros, Pound Sterling or the CFA Francs.
These measures will be in place until such a time that the US Dollar returns to its true value of D28.00 per US Dollar.
The Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of the
Anyone found violating these directives or not playing by the rules of honest trading practices will be prosecuted under the economic crimes law in addition to being banned from doing any business in The Gambia.
Operation No Compromise on foreign currency hoarding and speculation is hereby launched with immediate effect.