The government has upscaled the war on money changers by creating additional measures to curb illegal foreign currency dealings and parallel market price benchmarking.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in an advisory note says the move will further strengthen the central bank’s efforts in fighting money changers by identifying and prosecuting perpetrators of parallel market activities.
Ncube says, ” Government, through various agencies, is presently seized with instituting various measures to curb illegal trade in foreign currency and its associated twin evil; that of parallel market benchmarking or indexation of goods and services at parallel market exchange rates.”
“The recent resurgence of these practices, which have been identified as significant contributors to price instability in the economy and are imposing significant downside risks to macro-economic stability, and the erosion of domestic and international competitiveness is, therefore, a cause for serious concern.”
The following are additional measures put by the government against the parallel market;
- The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will be carrying out impromptu audits of corporate activities with a view of quantifying potential tax liabilities arising out of illegal foreign currency trading.
- The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will also be carrying out compliance audits with respect to compliance with the location tax introduced during the 2021 fiscal year.
- The FIU will continue to closely monitor and analyze financial transactions to identify, expose and take action against perpetrators of money laundering and other financial crime.
- The capacity of the FIU and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute violations of the Bank Use Promotion Act, as well as various AMLCFT laws, will be enhanced.
- Regulatory bodies including the Public Accountants and Auditors Board will also be working on a framework to impose appropriate financial and professional sanctions on members of the accounting, auditing, and other professions who may be complicit in superintending over illicit affairs by corporate entities which they are charged with running.
- Business who disregard the law and continue price their goods on the parallel market rates will have their licenses suspended.