Economy, Business And Markets

Unofficial Forex Trade in Cyberspace

Unofficial Forex Trade in CyberspaceUnofficial Forex Trade in Cyberspace

Following the Central Bank of Iran and Law Enforcement Force’s recent crackdown on black market currency trade, street dealers have found refuge in social networks, exploiting virtual space to conduct their business far from the regulator’s eye.

Last month police carried out raids on street currency dealers and middlemen in Tehran’s main forex market in Ferdowsi Street detaining dozens of illegal money changers.

Even though online currency dealing is prohibited, the surge in the popularity of social app’s especially Telegram has provided fertile ground for unauthorized dealing in hard currency.

Results of a recent survey show 53% of all Iranians use at least one type of social media with Telegram topping the list at 71%.

Abbas Masoudi, head of Tehran Union of Bureaux de Change Operators, told Mehr News Agency that even certified currency traders are not allowed to function online.

“It is indeed regrettable that no organization is in charge of supervising online forex trade and since most of the deals are not put on paper it increases the risk of fraud. Online trade also evades taxation,” he added.

Masoudi called for handing over the job of supervising online currency trade to the relevant unions or NGO’s. “Union members are connected to each other and can easily detect illegal operations in the market.”

Experts had have called on the Central Bank of Iran to embark on measures to stabilize the foreign exchange market by unifying forex rates and  managing demand and supply.