In the midst of the desperate moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria to sanitise the forex market and halt the naira’s free fall, the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria says it has begun sharing suspicious transactions by its members with the apex bank, according to The PUNCH.
This followed the CBN’s vow to clamp down on abokiFX website, its owner and patrons.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had in July announced the end of forex sales to BDCs, saying they abused the privilege of forex allocation to them and that the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit forex flows and funding of terrorism.
With the latest move by the ABCON, there are strong indications that more forex operators may be prosecuted as the association has assured the CBN that it will continue to share such suspicious transactions with the apex bank.
Responding to a question from one of our correspondents, the President, ABCON, Aminu Gwadade, said, “We share suspicious transactions among our members with CBN-BDCs.
“I am not in a position to speak on the allegations. I guess the investigating agencies are at best to share insight on the generalisation of the criminalisation. We in ABCON share suspicious transactions activities with the CBN for their necessary action.”
CBN freezes accounts
Earlier, the CBN had published about 200 names of forex defaulters after obtaining orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja division, to freeze the bank accounts belonging to firms and Bureaux de Change to enable it to conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
The motions ex parte signed on different dates sought the orders of the court to direct the banks to freeze all other bank accounts of the defendants for a period of 180 days, pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry being conducted by the CBN.
A former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said stopping forex sales to the BDCs was appropriate because the operators had been doing all sorts of illegal operations and making huge fortune from the country’s reserves.
According to him, the decision to clamp down on abokiFX was also appropriate.
He said, “There is CBN outside CBN. People are transferring money every day from this country. They pay naira here and collect dollars and do whatever they want to do and they don’t go through CBN. It means that anything can happen; you can bring whatever equipment you want to bring in.
“When you prosecute somebody, if he has done nothing wrong, you leave him. But if he has done something bad, he pays for it. A lot of irregularities are going on in the forex market.”