Desist from trading in cedis online or be jailed ten years, BoG warns

Ghana’s central bank warns that individuals caught selling cedis or pesewas on the internet will be prosecuted and locked up

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has warned that anyone found guilty of selling Ghana cedi notes or coins online will be prosecuted and jailed for a maximum of ten years.

A statement issued by the regulator said the Bank’s 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 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 said.

The only institution mandated to issue and redeem Ghana cedi notes and coins is the central bank.

Growing practice

“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,” the statement 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.”

The central bank warns that anyone who engages in this emerging practice will be dealt with according to the law.

“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 offence and would be liable upon summary conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) years or a fine not exceeding two thousand (2,000) penalty units or both, in accordance with the Currency Act 1946 (Act 242) as amended.”

However, the directive from the central bank excludes the activities of individuals who engage in money exchange for the purpose of making certain denominations available to others who need them.

Fred Dzakpata

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