The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has said it would commence the arrest and prosecution of illegal currency hawkers popularly called Bureau De Change (BDC) operators if they refuse to respect the regulatory guidelines for the business.
Senior special assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, made this known on Monday when the enforcement team resumed the clampdown on illegal roadside Bureau De Change operators at Wuse Zone 4 in Abuja.
The FCTA enforcement team also stormed some suspected hotspots in the Central Business District of the city, where they ransacked and set ablaze places suspected to be colonies of drug peddlers.
Attah explained that the intelligence reports from the Economic and Financing Crimes Commission ( EFCC) about the currency hawkers were worrisome, insisting that unless they comply with regulatory guidelines for the business, relevant forces may be deployed to sanitise the industry.
He also noted that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, was desirous of people to flourish in their various enterprises, but must do whatever they are doing within the ambit of the law.
“The EFCC reports against the Wuse Zone 4 Bureau De Change operators exposed so many illegalities which the present administration will not condone, but will work in synergy with other agencies of government to address,” the Minister’s aide said.
He further added that the taskforce would remain steadfast to the duty of dismantling everything that contributes to insecurity in the nation’s capital city.
“We had to address the issue of insecurity, removing all the shanties around the Bolingo Hotel and the Churchgate building.
“The currency hawking is a very difficult one. FCT Minister had gotten correspondences from the EFCC, appealing to the administration to use its enforcement components to stop the currency hawking.
“We had met with them before and now to warn them to find a way to stop the illegalities and do their business in line with the regulatory guidelines.
“We want them to do their business in their shop because the Minister and EFCC have frowned seriously over the issue. We also believe that it is dangerous for them to change currencies on the roadside because they could be attacked by criminals,” he said.
Also speaking, the Deputy National Chairman of Burea De Change Operators, Alhaji Danlami, said: “the leadership of the union of Bureau De Change operators here has been trying to organise the people. We are law-abiding citizens and we want everyone to do everything according to the law.”