Investigation shows that customers scam banks with fake Visas, Travelling tickets to obtain Forex

Following a decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the sale of forex to the BDCs, while enabling availability and supply at all time to Nigerians who are in need of FX, a twist seems to have circumvented the process.

Recently, it was discovered that most customers who approached the banks for foreign exchange under the guise of PTA/BTA are actually doing that on false pretense . It was discovered that 70 percent of the travelling tickets used in procuring the FX are being cancelled after two weeks having gained access to the USDs, while a number of Visas were reportedly fake according findings.

CBN in view of this development has vowed to haunt down perpetrators of this scam with the EFCC.

It was discovered that these customers scam the banks with fake documents to buy forex at cheap rates and sell at higher rates at the black market.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said that BDCs defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail users and had become wholesale and illegal dealers.

In his statement “They have remained reneged and so greedy, recalcitrant with abnormally high profit from these sales while ordinary Nigerians have been left to feel the pain and therefore suffer.”

The CBN has maintained its stand to discontinue the sale of forex to the BDCs he said.

He however, urged Nigerians who have legitimate business to conduct to take the business to the banks to buy cheap forex. Banks should also sell forex to travelers to pay for school fees and medical bills.

Travelers could access up to $4000 for Personal Travelling Allowance (PTA), and $5000 for Business Travelling Allowance (BTA).

“I want to put it on record that if the amount you want is above the limit that is recognized and we find that the reason you are making those demands is legitimate, the bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit.

“If you have dollars to sell, go to your bank. We will continue to monitor the banks.”

Findings however showed that the banks have been reporting fraudulent forex demands to the CBN.

On this note Emefiele said “We conducted a study, one of the banks in one day sold to 52 people who said they wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of 52 had cancelled their tickets.

“How could you have a situation where 70 percent or 80 percent who went to bank to buy BTA on the reason that they want to travel, banks sold to them, they turned back and went and sold to the black market. They were asked to return it and we are going to pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activities.”

“If you go to the banks with fake Visa, fake passport, we have told them not to sell to you, if they sell to you mistakenly, and after two weeks, we check and find that you cancelled your ticket or your Visa is fake, they will call you because you are their customer.

“They have your BVN, they have your number, they’ll call you to return the dollars. If you do not return it, they will place your name on their website, your BVN on their website, we will pick those details.

“We will send them to EFCC and other crime agencies, they will pursue you and you must return the dollars because you cannot acquire it illegally. That’s our position.”  

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