Forex fraud: CBN directs banks to publish names, BVN of defaulters

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all commercial banks to publish on their websites the names and Bank Verification Numbers of customers who fraudulently obtain foreign exchange from banks.

The apex bank said the directive was prompted by reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel.

According to a circular addressed to all banks on Tuesday, and signed by the bank’s Director, Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa, the fraudulent practices include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance.

“This trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.

“Consequently, further to the various measures already put in place, all banks are hereby directed to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them,” the statement said.

In July, the apex bank ended the sales of forex to Bureau De Change operators, saying the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft, it then directed all forex transactions to the commercial banks.

Since then, the BDC operators in the country that received an allocation of $10,000 each twice in a week have had to rely on commercial banks and peer-to-peer transactions to go about their business.

The scarcity drove naira to an all-time low Monday, with the currency exchanging at 527 to the dollar. It gained marginally Tuesday.

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