Zimbabwe’s central bank investigates forex manipulation

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A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo - RTX2CZDI

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said Thursday that it was investigating a case of alleged foreign currency exchange rate manipulation following the flighting of two receipts from a reputable organization showing a rate of 1 U.S. dollar to 200 Zimbabwean dollars (ZWL).

The official exchange rate as of Tuesday is 1 U.S. dollar to 88.55 ZWL, but the parallel market has its own ideas, pegging it at above 1: 180 in most transactions.

In a statement released Thursday, the RBZ said its Financial Intelligence Unit was investigating the allegations which emanated from a social media post showing a bakery in the mining town of Zvishavane charging either 1 U.S. dollar or 200 ZWL in what it called a “sausage and chips promotion”.

“The Financial Intelligence Unit is investigating allegations of currency manipulation and pegging of the ZWL at 200 to 1 U.S. dollar circulating on social media. Perpetrators shall be brought to book.

“Thanks Zimbabwe for exposing the rot,” the central bank said.

The move came soon after the central bank announced that it had blacklisted 77 individuals for facilitating illegal foreign exchange transactions and money laundering activities through social media. Enditem

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