The local currency is almost always weaker against major foreign trading currencies, particularly the dollar, a phenomenon which often affects the prices of goods and services in the country.
Ghana being a heavily import-driven country has always seen its currency suffer because when business people want to purchase raw materials and some finished products from abroad, they are forced to convert cedis into dollars.
Considering the simple rule of the impact of demand and supply, it is often the case that once the demand for dollars goes up, its impact on the stability of the cedi is evident.
In spite of this assertion, it is equally true that money laundering also seriously affects the stability of the local currency.
For many years, Ghana has had its fair share of this negative impact in spite of the numerous interventions to halt the practice.
Much as the fight against the canker has not been easy, consistent efforts by state institutions have been relentless and are beginning to yield more positive results.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is reported to have arrested a Chinese woman for allegedly transferring a whopping $313.59 million out of the country illegally.
The suspect was arrested and placed in police custody in Accra after EOCO found that large amounts of money in dollars, some of them linked to non-existent companies, moved through multiple bank accounts from Ghana to China between 2011 and 2019.
A source at EOCO told the Daily Graphic in Accra that investigations were at the concluding stages and this would pass as one of the biggest money laundering cases in the history of the country. (See front page of yesterday’s edition for full story).
We will like to commend EOCO for the hard work that has helped to unravel this criminal act.
We are aware beyond reasonable doubt that many more of such crimes are being perpetrated, a practice which has had serious impact on the local currency.
To this end, we will want to call on the security agencies not to spare any one found to have aided the culprit in laundering money outside the country without due process.
We are of the view that naming and shaming, revocation of banking license among other punitive measures to discourage the practice should not be spared under any circumstances.
Those officers at the country’s entry points must all be vigilant and alert to ensure that launderers do not use those borders to launder money out of the country.
Having come from a very painful banking sector clean-up and its attendant consequences on the economy, we strongly hold the view that this case should not be allowed to become yet another “one of those cases”.
The paper will fully monitor the proceedings to ensure that the right things are done as our contribution to help find a lasting solution to the decline of the value of the cedi against some of the major trading currencies, particularly, the dollar.
The effort of the government to stabilise the local currency is far-reaching but such crimes will not help it to succeed to benefit the larger economy, hence the need to nip this crime in the bud once and for all.