BusinessCrime & courts

New fines for forex abusers

New regulations have been gazetted to stamp out foreign currency abusers as treasury and the central bank seek transparency in business transactions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced new regulations under Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021, which will see individuals and firms charging goods above the official exchange rate and refusing to accept the local currency being fined ZWL$50,000.

There will also be penalties of at least ZWL$1 million for companies that misuse the foreign currency obtained from the central bank auction system.

In terms of the regulations, companies in need of foreign currency have to disclose the intended use or purpose.

Banks may also be fined ZWL$5 million or equivalent if they approve foreign currency payments to falsify data from their clients.

There will also be a fine for issuing Zimbabwe dollar receipts on goods that have been paid in foreign currency.

The regulations have also revealed that it is illegal for retailers, businesses and service providers to give customers a discount for paying in United States Dollars.

However, there are provisions offering a chance for appeal to the offender within 48 hours.

According to the regulations, failure to pay a fine after a ninety day period will result in the defaulter being liable to a fine not exceeding level six or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both. – Bulawayo24

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