BoN responds to N$3.5 billion fiasco

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New Era Newspaper Namibia
Official Logo for New Era Newspaper 2016 version

Windhoek

The Bank of Namibia has dismissed all allegations that an amount of N$3.5 billion in cash was found in a container in the northern part of the country in December 2016.

As a result of the case two Chinese nationals and one Namibian man are currently facing criminal charges related to money laundering and tax evasion.

In a media statement on Friday, Bank of Namibia Governor Ipumbu Shiimi said the information being spread around in the media is wrong and not supported by facts.

“As far as can be established, the Namibian police did not find any money hoarded by the suspects when they were arrested as is alleged in some media reports,” said Shiimi.

Shiimi dismissed allegations that Namibian currency is being printed in China and repatriated back into the country, with the view to exchange such counterfeit currency into US dollars.

The BoN governor further explained that although incidents of counterfeiting there were detected from time to time, the occurrences are negligible and do not occur at the scale that is claimed.

Over the past year the bank detected 277 banknotes were detected as counterfeits with a face value of N$45 270.
This is a huge difference compared to the number of counterfeits detected in 2015, when the bank recorded an amount of 465 counterfeit notes.

According to the bank, as of December 31, 2015 the ratio of counterfeits per million in respect of the Namibian dollar stood at nine pieces, way below the international benchmark of 70 banknotes per million.

Shiimi said the Bank of Namibia employs an effective and robust detection regime and trains retailers, law enforcement agencies and the general public to detect counterfeits at source. This cooperation has prevented counterfeiters from disrupting the currency supply. It is, therefore, patently false that counterfeit banknotes are widespread in the country he remarked.

The BoN governor re-assured all stakeholders and the general public that the Namibian currency is of exceptional quality and is designed to exceed international security standards so as to render it near impossible to reproduce hundred percent.

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