Police ask banks to track people trading large amounts of dollars

The police have met with the senior officials of local and international banks based in Male’ to track persons who are found to buying dollars continuously, in a crackdown on the trading of dollars in the Maldives.

There are people who take advantage of dollars provided by the banks for persons who require travel abroad for medical purposes, said police.

“Police asked the banks to identify those who take advantage of the dollars that are supposed to be provided to people who need the money for medical purposes, and to share this information with us,” police said.

Police said they also discussed with banks about how to resolve the issue and what measures would be more effective.

“Police discussed the upgrading on banks’ policies to monitor staff suspected of trading dollars illegally,’’ said Superintendent of Police Mohamed Jinah.

Police would identify those buying dollars and collect information the information according to monetary laws, Jinah said.

He also said that Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) was cooperating with police in its special operation to control the black market for dollars.

The special operation began this week after President Mohamed Nasheed during a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally said that he would “put a police officer behind evey dollar” in the country if necessary.

Nasheed said that there were adequate amount of dollars in the country and that there should be no reason the country was suffering a dollar shortage.

After the police operation started, police have been checking suspicious people and places where illegal dollar transactions are likely to happen.

The set dollar rate in the Maldives is Rf12.75, however during the dollar shortage it has increased to 13, 14, 15 and sometimes even as high as 16 on the black market. However banks routinely refuse to change rufiya into dollars, and experts have claimed that the crackdown will do little to address the demand for foreign currency or the budget deficit, which has led to the pegged rate not reflecting the value of the rufiya.

In 2009 June, to ease the dollar shortage, the cabinet decided to give letters of credit facility to importers of basic food items and other necessary commodities to the Maldives.

The President’s Office then formed a committee consisting of senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development, to review applications for receiving letters of credit, and give the letters of credit in a priority order.

”The government believes that this measure will ease the problem of the dollar shortage,” the President’s Office said at the time. ”The increased number of expatriate workers in the Maldives has contributed to the problem of dollar shortage in the Maldives. It is estimated that every month more than US$2 million is sent out from the Maldives by the expatriate workers. The cabinet members noted that reducing the number of expatriate workers was also an important measure to be taken.”

In December 2009, Spokesman of MMA Ibrahim NaseerNaseer told the local media that the deficit in foreign exchange is a result of MMA printing a large amount of Maldivian rufiyaa to make up to government spending which was more than the government income.

In August 2009, MMA Governor Fazeel Najeeb told the press that the cause of the dollar shortage was that rufiya notes had been printed in large amounts, exceeding the amounts of dollars in the country and dollars coming in to the country, and had been injected into circulation.


10 thoughts on “Police ask banks to track people trading large amounts of dollars”

  1. There is no point in treating the symptoms of a disease unless you also treat the cause of it.

  2. Attempting to solve the dollar shortage by the Government is commendable. It is doable.

    If Government focus on such economic issues, it would be unbeatable.

  3. if government stops expansionary policies...then government might have a weak chance at reelection without resorting to corruption, fraud, threats, bribery, extortion, blackmail, gang violence etc. etc.

  4. i think it is stupid to put pressure on the public like this, is it really the foreign workforce that has contributed to the USD shortage!!! how ridicules and non analytical can these people be!!!

    and no where in the world can u completely control the black market price (which is always higher) why is the MMA trying to cover their incapability and pointing the blame to others this reflects the lack of ability of the MMA and government since they have been struggling for the past 2 years to get this issue n track and failure after failure. in a country where the economy depends on imports!!! god bless all the traders....

  5. The Government had promised to hunt down the riches looted by the Maumoon, Yameen and the rest of their family. But so far we have not been able to recover this. It is about time the government accelerated this effort.

    Bringing back the hidden wealth of Maumoon and Yameen will solve the shortage of dollars in the country. See details below.


  6. Why is Home Minister Afeef not raiding the resort owners including Champa and himself? Too greedy for the little money you earn for 14.50?
    Why is so called Governor Fazeel Najeeb silent? May be because he has no clue of the economics behind it and his white advisor he hired to teach him economics left because he was stupid? or the real governor Yameen is instructing to wait as Yameen knows people around Anni like Afeef and so forth cannot curb the black market as they themselves are key players!!Funny isnt it?

  7. Unless we place sincere individuals for the posts like Home Minister, Finance Minister, Tourism Minister and MMA governor, we WILL never solve this issue. Home Minister Afeef is not forceful to crack the Illegal money changing practices of Tourism Industry!! WHY? because he is one among them who is benefiting!! Then is Tourism Minister Zulfa who is a puppet of Tourism Industry paid by the hard earned cash of citizens, while she works ONLY to protect the illegal practices of Tourism industry core group! Her husband is directly paid by the core group to do the lobbying! Shamefull two couples! ONE MIGHT WONDER WE CAN SOLVE THIS BY RAISING THE OFFICIAL RATE TO 15? NOO..WHY? BECAUSE THE INFLOW OF DOLLAR IS SUFFICIENT AND MORE, BUT THE DOLLAR GREEDY BUSINESSMEN IN TOURISM INDUSTRY IS HOLDING IT FOR MERE PROFIT AND FOR POLITICAL REASONS!! IF GOVERNMENT RAISE THE OFFICIAL RATE TO 15 THEN THEY WOULD RAISE THE BLACK MARKET RATE TO 17 OR 18. THESE GREEDY TYCOONS LIKE CHAMPA ARE THERE TO MAKE PROFIT EVEN SQUEEZING THE BLOOD OUT OF THE ORDINARY CITIZENS! I HOPE ANNI CAN GET OUT OF THESE B*****DS CLAWS!!

  8. bring back the 'black marketeers' .... at least they will change rufiyya into dollars......... thats more than the banks there will do............ j


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