Central bank Governor Yinager Dessie (PhD) ordered the suspension of accounts by hundreds of people allegedly involved in illicit foreign currencies trade last week. The latest measures by the central bank came as exchange rates of the Birr against the Dollar hit a record high compared to what the official market offers. A U.S. Dollar has been trading over 100 Br in the parallel market, while the official rate remained at 52.8 Br. Central bank official blame people active in the underground currency market. On Friday, 391 individuals had their bank accounts frozen upon the National Bank of Ethiopia's (NBE) order, an unprecedented move in the fight against the parallel forex market. Governor Yinager warned bank officers and employees allegedly working as accomplices in the illicit money transfer will be investigated. "Actions will be taken against them," he said at a rare press conference he gave last week. The Governor believes his measures will help ease the country's pressing foreign currency deficit, one of the economy's structural challenges.
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