Thursday, November 10, 2016

DSS raids bureaux de change, arrests operators selling above official exchange rate

Officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) have raided two major Bureau de Change markets in Lagos and Abuja in a fresh attempt to end speculation in
the foreign exchange transaction at the parallel market.

DSS had earlier directed the officials of the BDCs association to peg the dollar at N400 while selling and N390 while buying from customers.

Immediately after the directives, the DSS operatives commenced the enforcement of the order by arresting those erring members that  sold the dollar above N400 and or bought above N390 a dollar.

DSS operatives posed as end-users who came to purchase dollars from the BDCs. After surveying the market for exchange rate offerings, it was gathered that they arrested some BDC operators who sold above the official rate.

The spokesperson of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Issac Okorafor, confirmed the activities of the DSS. He said most of the people arrested were unlicensed operators who were taking advantage of speculation to reap illegal money. He said though the CBN had no hand in the raid, it was a welcome development for the market.

Speaking, a BDC trader said the arrest had triggered fear among BDC operators. He said: “Nobody is buying; nobody is selling because you don’t know who you may be transacting with."

Another trader said it was difficult to see the dollar to buy or sell in the market because, nobody was willing to sell at the new rates by the DSS. He said when customers heard of the new rate of N390 a dollar they usually turned back. He said the best way out was for CBN to flood the market with enough forex, instead of using force to address the problem.

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