Police warns over illegal currency exchange

On 1 December 2023 at 07:01

Rwanda National Police (RNP) cautions the public against illegal money trade, a financial crime that comes with adverse economic effects.

The force urges all those involved in forex exchange to follow the law and to operate in designated or licensed places.

The caution follows the arrest of four suspected illegal money changers, on Wednesday, November 29, in Gisenyi town, Rubavu District.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Bonaventure Twizere Karekezi, the Police spokesperson for the Western region, said that the quartet is part of the group that conducts black market forex exchange activities in Gisenyi town and at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"The four suspects were found with combined US$1,480, Rwf413, 500, Congolese francs amounting to 552, 650 and other currencies.

These are ongoing operations to fight these illegal forex trade activities. We strongly urge those engaged in forex trade to follow the layed regulations and guidelines" SP Karekezi said.

Regulation No. 42/2022 of 13/04/2022 governing foreign exchange operations provides that only licensed intermediaries are authorized to carry out foreign exchange business, in conformity with specific Central Bank regulations.

In article 29, operation of buying or selling foreign currency is prohibited, where at least one of the parties to the transaction is not a licensed intermediary.

In article 34, any violation of the provisions of this Regulation, and other related legal or regulatory provisions, shall be punished in accordance with the appropriate laws or regulations.

In addition, any person who sells or pricing goods or services in foreign currency contrary to the provision of this regulation shall be punishable by the seizure and confiscation of the amount involved in that transaction. The confiscated amount shall be credited on the Public Treasury account.

Article 223 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person who, by any means, illegally sells or exchanges, national or foreign currency, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than two years or a fine of not less than Rwf200, 000 and not more than Rwf3 million.