Jun 14, 2012, 4:16 PM
The Gambia government has lifted the ban on the shipment of foreign currency, ten days after it imposed a moratorium on the shipment of the US dollar.
A terse press release issued by the presidency announced Friday that the lifting of the ban starts with immediate effect.
The government, it would be recalled, announced on Tuesday 25th June that it has imposed a moratorium, with immediate effect, on the shipping of the US dollar out of the country, warning that drastic action will be taken against any individual, businesses or group found not playing by the rules.
A statement issued by the presidency then said it has come to the attention 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 prices of basic commodities and causing hardship to the people of The Gambia.
The presidency, according to the press release, informed the general public, particularly those involved in the foreign exchange bureaus, banks and mobile telephone operators that they are hereby warned that drastic action will be taken against any individual or body or corporate body found culpable of hoarding and speculating in foreign exchange.
It stated that it 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, stressing that anybody found dealing with foreign currency like the CFA and is not registered to do so will face the full force of the law, in addition to forfeiting such to the state.
The release stated that a team of enforcement agents have been directed to investigate and monitor all foreign exchange bureaus and or registered agents, as well as any other institution, and are authorized to confiscate any US dollar currency going out of the country without any prior approval or adherence to the law.