Police warns of people fraudulently collecting funds for dollars exchange

The police have urged caution after reports that groups have been collecting Maldivian rufiyaa from people, promising to exchange it before fleeing with the money.

In a statement the police revealed that last lots of such cases filed in recent days.

Police said that common targets are people walking alone on the streets who are then approached regarding exchangin ruffiyaa for dollars.

Police also said that in some cases these people arrive on motorbikes and take their victims on the bike to silent areas of Malé.

Another tactic used has been to attempt to gain the trust of their victim by giving them a mobile number which, when checked by police often turn out to be sim cards taken in the name of expats.

Investigations in to this type of cases show the offenders to be well presented – most of the time tucks their shirt under their pants and a pen in their pocket – giving the appearance of someone who normally does money exchange, the police said.

The police appealed people not to trust unknown individuals when dealing with money and also to identify people using an official document.

An online businessman who spoke to Minivan News on condition of anonymity said that people do not go to the Bank of Maldives to get dollars because it is a difficult procedure.

“Each bank account registered at BML gets USD100 per day,’’ he said. ‘’But the thing is, to get that US$100 you have to join the queue at midnight and wait till the bank opens next morning.’’

He said that is the reason why people resort to easy methods such as buying dollars on the black market.

A BML media official told Minivan News that the bank has been giving out dollars to the customers as much as possible.

“If the person has a bank account and dollars in it we will release the dollars and there will be no limit,’’ he said. ‘’It also depends on which branch of BML the person is going to.’’

President Abdulla Yameen in his inauguration speech has warned the Maldivian economy is in “a deep pit” and has pledged to reduce state expenditure.

Meanwhile, the MMA has printed over MVR 1 billion (US$ 64,516,129) in the past year alone, MMA statistics show.

Governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) Dr Fazeel Najeeb  in August warned that “excessive” government expenditure was directly responsible for the pressure on the rufiyaa.

Speaking during a function to celebrate the third anniversary of the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), Dr Najeeb said: “The value of rufiyaa is dropping because government accounts do not have the money, because it is a necessity to print large quantities of money.”

Najeeb said that a long-term economic stability plan would be needed in the country as part of attempts to increase foreign investment, reduce inflation, and curb printing of the Maldivian rufiyaa in order to calm an increase in prices.

“The plan shall include new foreign investments, aim to reduce inflation, decrease the printing of money and cease it altogether. This will decrease the pressure on the rufiyaa”.

The state budget for 2014 remains stalled in the People’s Majlis with Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad as yet failing to submit revisions.


6 thoughts on “Police warns of people fraudulently collecting funds for dollars exchange”

  1. Miss the good old days when Minivan used to do feature articles and human interest stories. Im sure theres lot of budding writers there who are being under-utilized.

  2. Maybe the govt could double the civil service salaries once again. President Gayoom senior did it in the last days of of his presidency. Junior was elected on populist policies too.

    The 10,000 rufiya salary for govt employees will actually be worth the work they do. A collapsed currency will force Maldivians to work for a living.

  3. Maldives is facing these problems since 2008 "the dollar shortage in the bank/country". but if you change a dollar in Bangladeshi you can get more than 10K instantly but in BML you will que for 1-2hrs and they will tell,you can only withdraw for $500 only for a day. its like, there's a syndicate holding a big amount of dollars & sell it in black market for higher rates. i hope the government, police & MIRA will do ways to stop this dollar problem & black market dollar syndicate.

  4. The root of the problem is incompetence and feeble leadership of Central Bank to enforce existing regulations on Maldives legal tender. At the moment MMA is following the US consitition in terms of legal tender

    Usd is not Maldives legal tender. There is no doller problem that an efficient MMA. cannot solve.

  5. I have worked in Maldives for 2 years and I still cannot understand why the Central Bank has a USD clearing?
    In no country in the world have I seen such a practice and when you talk to bank executives they clearly explain that obtaining USD cash depends on availability (logical as USD is not the legal tender) and exchange from MVR to USD is not easy as they themselves cannot buy at 15.42!!!
    Why not implement basic laws as in all countries and enforce local currency payments for all transactions in Maldives!!!

  6. The USD situation in this country is crazy. I work in a place where I am paid in local currency but I have to pay my rent in USD. Banks do not exchange foreign currency against local currency for non-customers, so I end up buying dollars on the street at a very high rate. Can't wait for my contract to finish so that I can get my passport back and leave this hell!!!


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