The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pledged to hire financial crime agencies to prosecute fraudsters who tricked banks with false documents to buy currency at low prices and sell at higher rates in black market.
The umbrella bank had, a few weeks ago, stopped selling currencies to the operators of the Bureau de Change and had asked legitimate travelers to approach banks for access to cheap currencies.
It is against the background that many clients tricked commercial banks with fake documents to get forex at a lower rate and prevented real travelers from accessing forex.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had said in an earlier statement that BDCs had beaten their existence goal of providing foreign exchange to retail users and had become wholesale and illegal resellers.
“They remained renegade and so greedy, recalcitrant with unusually high profits from these sales, while ordinary Nigerians were left to feel the pain and therefore suffer,” said the boss of CBN.
Emiefele had argued that the CBN had maintained its position to halt the sale of currencies to BDCs.
He urged Nigerians with legitimate business to turn to banks for cheap currencies.
According to him, travelers could access up to $ 4,000 for a personal travel allowance and $ 5,000 for a business travel allowance.
The results, however, showed that commercial banks reported fraudulent exchange requests to the CBN.
Confirming this, the governor of the CBN said: “We did a study; one of the banks sold in one day to 52 people who said they wanted to travel. After two weeks they went to check, 40 out of 52 had canceled their tickets.
“How can you have a situation where about 70% or 80% of those who went to the bank to buy BTA on the grounds that they want to travel, the banks sold them to them, they turned around and went sell on the black market. They have been asked to return it and we will sue you if you are involved in these nefarious activities.
“If you go to the bank with a fake visa, a fake passport, we told them not to sell you. If they sell you by mistake, and after two weeks we check and find that you have canceled your ticket or that your visa is wrong, they will call you because you are their customer.
“They have your BVN, they have your number, they will call you to return the dollars. If you don’t return it, they will place your name on their website, your BVN on their website, we will choose those details.
“We will send them to the EFCC and other criminal agencies, they will pursue you and you will have to return the dollars because you cannot acquire them illegally. This is our position ”.


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