Forex traders seek seized cash

09May 2022
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Forex traders seek seized cash

​​​​​​​BUREAUX de Change operators in Arusha city have appealed to President Samia Suluhu Hassan to intervene in their appeal to secure the return their seized properties, enabling them to return to business without difficulties.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Melance Kisoka, a leader of the traders, said that their appeal to the president relates to restoration of cash, licences and other property seized during a crackdown on foreign exchange shops in November 2018.

They expressed appreciation to the government for returning their mobile phones and passports seized during the campaign, raising the concern after Home Affairs deputy minister Hamad Masauni told the legislature that the relevant authorities had already returned their properties.

What the government returned was only mobile phones and passports, he affirmed, insisting that licences, cash and other property like houses and vehicles were still confiscated. “We do not know the reason for that,” he said.

Even if the government returns their cash, many of them will fail to continue with the business due to the increase in capital for starting money changing business, having been raised from 300m/- to 1bn/-, he stated.

In 2015 the capital for anyone planning to start forex business was pegged at 40m/- and then rose to 100m/- in 2017. "Then suddenly in the same year it shot up to 300m/- and when we began paying this, the government struck, and seized our cash and other property. These items have not been returned to us up to this date,” he said.

An accord for safety in restarting foreign exchange bureau business will be essential to ensure the safety of their businesses to avoid repeating what happened in 2018, he stated.

Richard Kayombo, the TRA director for taxpayer education, avoided comment on the issue on Thursday, directing that inquiry to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), where assistant public relations manager Vick Msina said it isn’t the central bank but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

When contacted, DPP Sylvester Mwakitalu said he does not know anything about the issue until he makes a follow up from the concerned files.

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