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Dubai cracks down on illegal money transfer shops

WAM/Dubai
Filed on January 21, 2017 | Last updated on January 21, 2017 at 05.18 pm
Dubai cracks down on illegal money transfer shops
Representative photo

(Alamy)

The shops were found to have enticed Bangladeshi expatriates with the offer of cheaper money transfers to their home country

The Department of Economic Development, DED, in Dubai has fined 25 shops in the emirate on a single day for engaging in unauthorised activities and illegal money transactions.

The shops were found to have enticed Bangladeshi expatriates with the offer of cheaper money transfers to their home country with the help of an app called 'Bkash.'

"DED acted on a tip-off and raided the shops, spread across different areas in Dubai, and found out that none of them were licensed to provide money transfer services. All the shops advertised the illegal activity in the Bengali language to avoid suspicion," said Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector in DED. The transfer was done through SIM cards from Bangladesh installed in electronic devices and no invoices were issued to customers. The shopkeepers used to scribble down customer details and the amount to be transferred in paper slips and the transfer was done electronically.

"We have also confiscated the devices that were used to transfer money. First of all, none of the shops had money transfer as permitted activity in their licenses and they didn't have the mandatory approvals from the UAE Central Bank," said Lootah.

Lootah added that such practices are harmful not only to the UAE economy and local businesses but also to people tricked by such offers. "First of all such illegal channels deny the economy of accurate information on the flow of cash. Secondly, they deprive authorised money exchanges and banks of their deserved share of business, and thirdly, customers depending on such illegal channels risk losing their hard-earned money."





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