By Modou S. Joof
All 56 registered forex bureaus in The Gambia have had their licences revoked with immediate effect by the country’s President, Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday, August 13.
“All licences of foreign exchange bureaus issued by the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has been declared null and void with immediate effect by the Government of The Gambia,” Jammeh said in a press statement.
The 1 minute 30 seconds despatch from Jammeh’s Office, State House, claims “the cancellation of the licences has been necessitated by the failure of operators in the foreign exchange market to comply with the advice and warning given to them by the Government”.
Now, it said all forex bureaus that operated in the foreign exchange market, are to apply afresh for licences.
The new licences to be issued for bureau transactions are to be done strictly within the confines of the bureaus and therefore all exchange on the street would be deemed illegal, according to Jammeh.
He also declared that “no foreign exchange bureau is allowed to ship foreign exchange out of the country”.
All foreign exchange transactions are to be done through banks and only after approval from the Central Bank, Jammeh added.
The Jammeh Government stressed that individuals traveling out of the country are required to declare the foreign currency they are travelling with, while pegging to USD$9000, the maximum limit of foreign currency “anybody is allowed” to travel with.
Jammeh, the leader of the smallest country on mainland Africa, has mandated his security officials to seize any amount above this ($9000) threshold.
In late July, Jammeh’s Government ordered the arrest and detention of scores of staffers of forex bureaus in the country – amid struggle to stabilise the continuous decline in value of the national currency, the Dalasi.
The Gambia’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), which conducted the arrests, detained the staffers at the former Holgam Fishing Company in Kanifing Municipality.
tes Dollar from D38 – to between D30 and D33 for $1.
The IMF’s Mission Chief, David Dunn, said a similar directive in October 2012 on the ban of the shi
pment of the dollar and the forceful reduction of the exchange rates at the time, caused “uncertainty” in the foreign exchange market.
He urged the Central Bank to play its role as the institution mandated to regulate the financial market.