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Dhaka Tribune

Strong measures against non compliant money exchanges

'We want to develop a better coordination system among the authorities concerned for curbing the illegal hundi system'

Update : 24 Aug 2022, 04:43 PM

The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) is set to move action against money changers for their alleged involvement in money laundering, to bring discipline to the volatile forex market.

Under the move, the intelligence agency of the country's financial sector has decided to hold a trilateral meeting among the leaders of Moneychangers' Association of Bangladesh, officials concerned of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) and members of law-enforcing agencies shortly.

"We want to promote genuine money exchanges by curbing suspicious activities strongly," said a senior official familiar with the developments.

"We want to develop a better coordination system among the authorities concerned for curbing the illegal hundi system," he also said.

He also informed that the BFIU had already taken different measures to prevent money laundering as well as terrorist financing to ensure stability and integrity of the country's financial system.

Besides, the BFIU already sought information on accounts and transactions of 27 moneychangers from banks to sift out if any of them is involved in money laundering through illicit fund transfer.

The money changers whose bank account details were sought by the BFIU are: Nivedita Money Exchange, City Monetary Exchange, Bakaul Money Exchange, Mondial Money Exchange, Nobils Moneychanger, Himalaya Dollar Moneychanger, Capital Moneychanger, Metro Moneychanger, Dependent Moneychanger, Dhaka Moneychanger, Lord's Money Exchanger, Glory Money Exchange, DN Moneychanger, Angkan Money Exchange, Vijay Money Exchange, Binimoy Money Exchange, Buriganga Money Exchange, Cumilla Money Exchange, ASN Moneychanger, BKB Money Exchange, Kaya Moneychanger, Alpha Money Exchange, Crystal Money Exchange, The Liaison Money Exchange, Fayez Money Exchange, Vijay Interchange and Uttara Moneychanger.

They will take the next course of action after examining the bank transactions of these moneychangers, according to the official.

Earlier, the central bank had suspended five licences and issued show-cause notices against 42 moneychangers for allegedly violating the existing foreign-exchange rules and regulations.

Nine other unauthorized money changers' operations are going to be closed on the same grounds.

The central bank had taken the decisions on the basis of its special drive at money exchanges, which was launched on July 27 last, just a day after the cash dollar price hit Tk112 on the kerb market.

Under the existing provisions, a money changer is allowed to hold a maximum of $25,000 at the close of each business day.

Cash beyond this limit will have to be deposited into their respective bank's foreign-currency account.

The balance of that account must not exceed $50,000 at any point in time.

The central bank has already taken various measures that include setting a spread rate between selling and buying of cash dollars by money changers at maximum Tk1.50 to ensure market discipline.

As per the latest BB directive, the money changers sold the cash dollar at maximum Tk109.50 Tuesday on kerb market in the capital while they purchased the greenback offering Tk108.

Currently, 235 money exchanges are doing business with the permission of the central bank.

But there are more than 700 moneychangers freewheeling on the money market.

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