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Malawi clamps down on illegal currency dealers

As a shortage of foreign currency threatens to derail Malawi's economic growth, authorities have clamped down on illegal dealers of foreign currency with the court fining a Chinese national who was caught trying to smuggle out thousands of US dollars and arresting two local businessmen found in possession of fake foreign currencies.
Shen Chong was on Thursday, 6 August 2009 fined K500,000 by the Blantyre Magistrate court after pleading guilty to charges of attempting to externalise US$39,151. He has since paid the fine. Chong was arrested at Chileka Airport on 24 June 2009 while wanting to board a South African Airways plane.

The Mzuzu Principal Resident Magistrate Court denied bail to two Malawian nationals, Mustafa Kaweche, 48 and Daniel Jere, 52, who were found with US$4 million in fake currency.

Authorities have linked the two incidents to a severe shortage of forex that has hit Malawi due to continued foreign exchange scarcity in the market and lack of demand for huge local development and project financing.
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About Gregory Gondwe

Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started writing in 1993. He is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He can be contacted on . Follow him on Twitter at @Kalipochi.