Nearly 11 000 foreign currency dealers, touts and pirate taxi operators have been arrested since January this year during an ongoing operation being conducted countrywide. Most notable arrests were made in Harare and Bulawayo as the operation seeks to restore sanity countrywide.
During the same period, police impounded 3 132 unregistered vehicles.
Some of the touts and foreign currency dealers that were arrested were fined while others are expected to appear in court on charges of contravening the Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 (No.5), which criminalises illegal trading in foreign currency.
This also comes at a time when parallel market dealings in forex have been outlawed by Government and attract a 10-year jail term for anyone caught dabbling in it. According to police statistics, a total of 10 766 suspects were arrested during the crackdown. In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.
“The ZRP’s operations aimed at bringing sanity in the CBDs throughout the country are continuing. In Harare police has accounted for 4463 mushikashika vehicles during the period between January and 30th June 2019, 4093 touts have been arrested while 3132 unregistered vehicles were impounded.
“Meanwhile in Bulawayo the ZRP has arrested 2 112 suspects for obstructing free passage of traffic in the CBD and 98 for exchange control dealings since January 2019. Police are urging the public to engage in lawful business activities which do not make them susceptible to arrest,” he said.
Last week, police arrested 15 illegal foreign currency dealers in Harare during the ongoing operation.
The 15 were still assisting police with investigations.
Asst Comm Nyathi last week said, “We have an ongoing operation targeting illegal foreign currency dealers in and around the city,” he said.