The operations of informal hustlers using group chats on social networking platform WhatsApp to advertise their interdicted foreign currency exchange business could soon come to an end amid an impending police crackdown.

On Monday, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said it has roped in the services of the police and mobile network operators in the pursuit of launching a massive crackdown on people using mushrooming WhatsApp groups to advertise the illegal forex dealings.

According to the central bank’s FIU, mobile phone numbers which join or market their forex dealings in such WhatsApp groups are being shared with the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), adding that the mobile numbers risk being blacklisted and barred.

“Other mobile numbers registered in the names of the identified persons will also be identified and barred,” the intelligence unit warned in a statement dated 15 June 2020.

“Bank accounts owned by persons identified with the said numbers will be identified and frozen and the person will be blacklisted and barred from accessing banking services with any bank.

“Identified persons will be prosecuted for illegally trading in or advertising illegal trading in foreign currency,” the RBZ warned.

See attached press statement below: