Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has distanced itself from fraudsters parading themselves as bureaux de change (BDC) operators.
President, ABCON, Dr. Emmanuel Balogun, explained that licensed BDC operators do not operate on the streets but in offices known and approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Balogun who said this in a statement, said the clarification became necessary because in recent times, the association have received reports of people duped by fraudsters who pose on roadsides as BDC operators.
He added: “We want to categorically say that these fraudsters, who usually operate in areas with heavy population of licensed BDCs, are not licensed by the CBN and ABCON.
“Licensed BDCs are mandated by CBN regulation to operate only in designated and recognised offices and they must notify the apex bank and ABCON whenever they change office location.
“Consequently before the CBN and ABCON license any BDC, their officials visit and inspect the proposed office of the BDC and ensure it has and comply with all the administrative and security measures requirement stipulated in the operating guidelines of BDCs. Also by extension of this requirement, it is illegal for any licensed BDC operator to operate or transact business on the streets or by the roadside.
Continuing, he said: “This requirement is mandated by the CBN in recognition of the fact that the BDC business, like every business activity is vulnerable to the activities of fraudsters, who may want dupe unsuspecting members of the public under the pretence of rendering that service.
“ABCON also recognises that this vulnerability of business activities to fraudsters is high in the BDC business given the attractiveness and liquidity of its product, which is foreign currencies. That is why we have severally called on members of the public not to transact foreign exchange business with anybody on the street or by the roadside. They should only deal with BDCs in office locations. Such BDCs always display copies of their CBN operating license and certificate of ABCON membership.”
According to him, members of the public can also contact the ABCON secretariat for the list and addresses of BDCs licensed by the CBN.
“Furthermore, we have warned our members not to allow anybody to loiter around the vicinity of their offices; as such people may be fraudsters laying ambush for prospective customers. We have advised them to alert the law enforcement agencies about the presence of such loiter especially when they refuse to leave,” he warned.