Eight registered financial institutions appeared before the Harare Magistrates court charged with illegal foreign currency dealings through the EcoCash platform.
The eight institutions namely Titanium Capital (Pvt) Limited, Access Finance Private Limited, Dream High Investments, Terrerati Private Limited, Vision Credit Source Private Limited, Capital Profit Financial Service, Raymond Mudonhi Investments, Justice Mahuni, Kudzai Mudonhi and Juso Global Limited are currently in court and will apply for bail tomorrow.
Vision Credit Source is also being accused of the same offence using its several agents.
One of the eight companies, Titanium Capital is alleged to have transferred ZWL$ 210 475 688.
Another company Dream High Investments allegedly transferred ZWL$143 669348 with Access Finance transferred, Tererati being owned by Samuel Tererai and Vision Credit Source transferring ZWL$185 420 444, ZWL$125 722079 and ZWL$192 207 880 respectively.
It is the state’s case that Titanium Capital traded with 429 agents in 2020 and are still trading using the EcoCash bulk payer line.
Access Finance, which is registered as Bureau de Change is alleged to have used various Econet lines for its agents to buy foreign currency in the streets.
According to state lawyer handling the matter, Siyadhuma Garudzo, this conduct by Access Finance was against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s financial regulations that do not allow it to employ or trade outside its premises.
The state is adamant that they should be locked up as their actions were tantamount to sabotaging the economy.
Meanwhile, The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has blacklisted 30 illegal Forex dealers and has gone further to instruct mobile money operators and other financial service providers to identify and freeze any accounts operated by the blacklisted individuals and, further, to bar them from accessing financial services for a period of two years, with immediate effect.
The development comes at a time there has been a notable widening of the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates fuelled by excess liquidity in electronic money.
The Zimbabwe dollar is trading at ZWL$ 170/USD on the parallel market whereas the official rate as per the RBZ’s forex auction market trades at ZWL$ 86.9/USD.