Tanzania's central bank closes forex shops over suspected money laundering

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DAR ES SALAAM, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) said on Tuesday its move to shut down foreign exchange shops in the country's northern region of Arusha followed suspicions on money laundering and associated illegal transactions.

BOT Governor Florens Luoga said in a statement that investigations involving various government organs are underway and that those implicated to be involved in "dirty" money will be prosecuted.

Luoga said the closure of foreign exchange outlets in Arusha for inspections was part of a countrywide crackdown against masterminds of syndicates behind money laundering and those operating without licences.

He said the central bank has suspended issuance of licenses to run bureaux de change and that it would resume after new regulations that would plug loopholes for illegal money transactions are put in place.

"They will be charged in courts and at the same time have their licenses revoked," the central bank governor said.