POLICE yesterday warned illegal foreign currency dealers who are breaking the lockdown rules.
This comes as illegal foreign currency dealers have gone into hiding and they are operating in underground habitats.
In a statement, the police said there was an increase of illegal money changers despite the lockdown.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has noted with concern the proliferation of illegal forex exchange syndicates during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Some of the groups or individuals are using vehicles, backyard offices and some homes to engage in the criminal acts.
“Whilst the government has allowed the operation of money transfer service during the Covid-19 lockdown, police urges members of the public to receive their money from authorised dealers and then go to shops which have been authorised to transact in both local and forex to buy basic commodities or access medication from pharmacies.”
The police added that they would not hesitate to arrest anyone caught offside.
“There is no need for the people to queue to change money in some shops, especially in the central business districts or engage illegal foreign currency dealers, while in the process exposing themselves to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will arrest all illegal foreign currency dealers who are committing such criminal acts whilst at the same time disregarding the government’s Covid-19 lockdown measures.”
This comes after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya last week directed all money transfer agencies to reopen.
“Further to His Excellency the President’s directive of 6 April 2020 on the need to provide critical services to the public during the national lockdown period, and in light of the feedback from the recipients of diaspora remittances, the bank wishes to advise the public that the following additional services will be provided by (MTAs) during the Lockdown Period as follows:
“MTAs with branches operating in retail outlets shall, with effect from Wednesday the 8th of April 2020, operate daily within the timelines prescribed for opening of retail outlets or shops; and MTAs owned by banks and those with own banking halls and branches outside banks and retail outlets or shops, shall open for business three times a week, that is, on Tuesday to Thursday, between 0900 and 1500hrs,” Mangudya said.