Taskforce gets established to whip black market cartels


A task force comprising relevant security bodies and the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) gets established to crack a whip on illicit financial activities that have been pricking Ethiopia’s economic market.
Recently, the financial regulatory body, NBE, took stern and proactive measures on those indulging in; illegal remittance, parallel currency market, counterfeit currencies, parallel gold market and other relevant crimes, by inviting and encouraging the public to play a role on tackling the issue.
Recently, NBE announced the implementation of a new directive that provides benefits to those that collaborate with the central bank and authorities on the illegal market actors.
Early October, Yinager Dessie, Governor of NBE, said that as per the new directive, NBE has facilitated reward payouts for those who provide intel on the foul players, citing that rewards will be come from the assets of the illegal actors, once they’re assets are seized.
To this end, on October 19, relevant NBE officials disclosed details on how the informants can safely provide intel on the criminals.
“The public shall provide the information through the platform we facilitated and their privacy is highly protected,” Abate Mitiku, Director, Change Management, Planning and communication Directorate at NBE, said.
He added that the public can also provide the information to law enforcement bodies since; the law enforcement officers are easily accessible to the general public without any hustle.
Abate also disclosed that a task force comprising of financial intelligence, policy and other security apparatuses besides the financial regulatory body has been formed to manage the operation.
Since the parallel market busted exponentially wider to the legal forex market various stringent measures have been put in place to combat the issue and to close the gap on the exchange disparities.
NBE and the Financial Intelligence Services have frozen hundreds of bank accounts of individuals and companies including betting companies who are involved in illegal remittance.
The illegal gold market has also grabbed headlines to which the regulatory body is paying much attention.
The experts have also put forth recommendations for the government to emplace keen focus on the contraband business for both the illegal exchange and gold market.
They highlighted that gold which has been bought illegally is creeping through the country’s boarders and advised the government to be vigilant on controlling the matter.
They pointed out the case from a week ago, where the customs department at Mumbai airport of India sized 16 kilogram of gold that was smuggled from Addis Ababa to India. Experts explained that the smuggling case is one of many which indicate that there is illegal and strong network through the route of Ethiopian borders.
They argue that the same applies to foreign currency collected from the black market. The case is not only for the illegal fleet of Ethiopian treasure but the incoming contraband is also the major challenge for illegal foreign currency market or high value products.
Recently, Yinager also underscored that contraband was a challenge as he explained that relevant government bodies are working round the clock through various activities to contain the issue.
There also has been information that some foreign investors are engaging as a final receiver of the foreign currency that is collected from the black market. Those who closely followed the case said that some Asians and other foreigners are involved on the black market and they pay higher amount against the legal exchange rate to collect the foreign currency smuggling it out from the country. Sources also claimed that these foreigners have become one of the major actors on the illegal remittance.
Similarly information on foreign individuals involved on the gold collection and smuggling have been spoken of.


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