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Central Bank of Iran Considers Heavy Fines for Illegal Moneychangers

 Moneychangers that move to purchase, sell or transfer currency without first obtaining a license from the central bank are operating illegally. Moneychangers that move to purchase, sell or transfer currency without first obtaining a license from the central bank are operating illegally.

Many illegal bureaux de change have been identified and a number of them have been fined heavily, said the director general for banking regulations, licensing and anti-money laundering at the Central Bank of Iran.

“The authorities have taken legal measures against those who fail to obtain licenses for their currency exchange activities. So far, a large number of illegal exchangers have been identified and met with disciplinary action, some of whom will be fined heavily,” Abdolmahdi Arjomandnejad said in a talk with IBENA.

Arjomandnejad said based on regulations, moneychangers who purchase, sell or transfer currency without obtaining a license from the central bank are operating illegally and their actions constitute currency smuggling.

According to the official, a variety of policymaking and executive measures have been undertaken collectively in recent years.

These measures include “reviewing regulations on the establishment, activities and supervision over bureaux de change, taking disciplinary measures against these entities and easing paperwork related to obtaining licenses to create new bureaux de change or extending the licenses of existing ones”, he added.

The CBI official further said that while the rise in the number of applicants seeking licenses for these entities was relatively low at the beginning, it has begun to skyrocket since.

“This rise has been such that At present, an average of 10 to 20 licenses are issued weekly,” he said.

Arjomandnejad announced that about 400 exchangers have been registered at CBI and received a license.

He says because no new licenses were issued for moneychangers for a few years, their applications had piled up, but things have since changed.

“The review of applications is now up-to-date and the central bank begins work as soon as the relevant documents are posted, which allows applicants to receive their licenses in the shortest amount of time,” he said.

The CBI official noted that a number of applications might face hurdles for a number of reasons pertaining to the applicant. He assures, however, that with proper paperwork and smooth handling of applications, applicants could potentially receive their licenses “even in a matter of few days”.

Arjomandnejad stressed the need for adhering to standards pertaining to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism in the framework of domestic regulations.

“Increasing transparency will block many economically, financially and even socially corrupt actions and lead to the economic and financial health of the country,” he said.

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