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Stop selling Ghana cedi or be prosecuted - Bank of Ghana

BY: Maxwell Akalaare Adombila
Stop selling Ghana cedi or be prosecuted - Bank of Ghana
Stop selling Ghana cedi or be prosecuted - Bank of Ghana

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has warned businesses and the general public to desist from selling Ghana's currency, the cedi and pesewa coins or face prosecution.

It said such an act was illegal and punishable by summary conviction to a term of imprisonment up to 10 years or a fine not exceeding 2,000 penalty units or both.

In a public notice issued Thursday, October 1, 2020, the central bank said any trading of the currency regardless of the purpose was criminal and, therefore, prohibited.

In the notice signed by the Secretary to the bank, Ms Sandra Thompson, the bank said the warning applied to persons trading the currency online or otherwise.

A source at the central bank said the bank was concerned about persons who sold the currency to commercial vehicle operators, known us Trotro and other persons in need of lower denominations.

It said the public notice was after its attention had been drawn to the trading of Ghana cedi notes and coins currently in circulation as legal tender on online platforms.

"The Bank of Ghana wishes to inform and remind the general public, that it is the only institution with the right to issue and redeem Ghana cedi notes and coins in Ghana, according to Article 183 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and section 35 of the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) as amended, "it said.

"It is, therefore, illegal for any person or institution to buy or sell the Ghana cedi notes or coins currently in circulation, regardless of the purpose or intent for such trading."

"Any person who buys or sells or offers or attempts to buy or sell any Ghana Cedi note or coin at or for a lower rate than its face value or for an amount exceeding the face value, commits an offense and would be liable upon summary conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) years, or to a fine not exceeding two thousand (2000) penalty units or both, in accordance with the Currency Act, 1964 (Act 242) as amended," the notice said.

"The Bank of Ghana, therefore informs the general public that all persons engaged in the activity of selling (online or otherwise) of Ghana Cedi notes or coins currently in circulation, must desist from doing so immediately, and are prohibited from further engaging in such trades, with immediate
effect," it added.

It, however stated that the warning was not applicable to persons who engaged in" money exchange for the purpose of making some denominations available to
others who need them."