Security Agencies, EOCO Arrest Black Market Operators
Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) on the instruction of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) have commenced a crackdown on illegal forex market operators, also known as black market. Police personnel and operators of other security institutions have stormed Accra business district,
specifically, Cow Lane to clamp down on underground banks, money exchange company and money laundering agents. The action is to tame currency speculators who are driving down the cedi value. This follows an appealed made by the Bank of Ghana to the security agencies to help clamp
down on black market in the country. Somewhere last month, Elsie Awadzie, a Deputy Governor of BoG had called on security agencies to clamp down on the black market operators. Speaking at a sensitisation workshop in Accra for members of the Committee for Cooperation between the Law Enforcement Agencies and Banking
Community (COCLAB), the deputy governor condemned the influx of black market operators in the forex market – an activity that she argues has contributed significantly to weakness of the local currency against major trading currencies. Ms. Awadzie said the regulator is doing its best to straighten out licenced operators of the forex
market but it cannot do so alone – as it needs collaboration and support from security agencies to stamp out the market’s illegal forex dealers. “Support the Bank of Ghana’s efforts to sanitise the forex bureau sector by strictly enforcing existing rules for the fair and transparent conduct of business by licenced forex
bureaus and clamping down on illegal forex operators – the black market. While the Bank of Ghana regulates the forex bureau sector, we rely heavily on your criminal investigation and enforcement powers. “So, my heartfelt plea to you is: please help us to do something about this. We count on your cooperation, especially now more than
ever to help restore order and prevent the cedi’s further depreciation,” she said. The operation of the black market is believed to have adverse ramifications on the country’s economy: such as a reduction of saving and investment in the formal financial system and reductions in international trade facilities and foreign investment inflows which support the economy.