16 illegal foreign currency dealers have appeared in court today accused of contravening the Exchange Control Act after they were found of various amounts of United States dollars, rand and bond notes, among other currencies.

The 16 appeared before Harare Magistrate, Ms Nomsa Sabarauta facing charges of contravening section 5 (1) (1) (1) of the Exchange Control Act. 

They were remanded to tomorrow for bail application.

It is the state’s case that the accused, who appeared in court separately, were arrested on 2 October at various points in Harare‚Äôs central business district while exchanging various currencies.

State prosecutor, Ms Fransisca Mukumbiri told the court that detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were on a patrol assigned to arrest illegal foreign dealers trading in Harare when they identified the accused persons exchanging currency. 

After being arrested, they were found in possession of large amounts of cash in different currencies and denominations without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The Exchange Control Act came into operation in September this year to deal with the rampant illegal dealing in foreign currency that has resulted in the current liquid crunch.