Monday 21 September, 2020

Chinese nationals booked for illegal foreign exchange transactions

Following a lengthy and detailed investigation, personnel from the Financial Investigation Division (FID), the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Division (C-TOC) and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Agency (MOCA), carried out operations in the business district of Montego Bay, St James targeting illegal foreign exchange operations.

The operations on June 12 led to three Chinese nationals being arrested and charged with breaches of Section 22 of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Act.

The persons charged are Shiyue Zhou, a 36-year-old businesswoman and operator of HTC Wholesale; JieQung Zhou, a 27-year-old cashier, and Ximei Wong, 42.

The FID and the other participating agencies have jointly expressed a resolution to fight the underground money exchange economy which has been noted to provide an avenue for money laundering to go undetected, and also artificially distorts the official foreign exchange rate.

Selvin Hay, the Chief Technical Director of the FID, has indicated that it is illegal for anyone to engage in the trading of foreign currency without having a licence that has been issued by the BOJ.

The persons charged were offered station bail in the sum of $300,000, and are to appear in the St James Parish Court on July 1, 2020.

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