The MP Lakhdar Benkhellaf, for the Renaissance, Justice and Building Union (political party) asked an oral question to the Finance Minister regarding the increasing phenomenon of smuggling foreign currency at the level of border areas, crossings and airports, saying that the foreign currency black market in Algiers Port Said becomes an illegal stock exchange in front of everyone, asking about the measures that should be taken to legalize the activity of this parallel market.
He likened the foreign currency’s parallel market in Algiers Square Port Said with a real stock exchange, which operates before the most important state institutions, the National Assembly, the National People’s Assembly, the Abbane Ramdan Court, the General Directorate of National Security .. Etc., which do not move any to control the “illegal” activity of this market, which, according to him, contributes to smuggling hard currency abroad.
According to the text of the question, which was viewed by “Echorouk”, Benkhellaf confirmed that this phenomenon continues despite the correspondence that was sent by the Finance Minister, to banks and financial institutions in various European capitals regarding the necessity of refusing to open bank accounts for Algerians who are not permanently residing in these countries, and this is whatever the size of the accounts balance is large or small, applying the contents of the law regulating the movement of capital to and from Algeria, which prevents Algerians who are not permanently resident in European countries from opening bank accounts there.
Foreign Currency Smuggling Operations On The Rise
Statistics of customs departments revealed, according to the question, that the foreign currency’s seizure operations doubled during January 2019, at the level of various border areas, crossings and airports, where significant amounts of money were seized in the foreign currency, with 10 cases related to attempts to smuggle currency where 32.1950 euros have been seized, $39,780, and 30,240 Tunisian dinars and more than 21,750,000 Algerian dinars.
These figures, which were recorded in one month, reflect the “increased phenomenon of money smuggling, and diversion of the foreign currency, in addition to smuggling other large sums through the “luggage” and billing in commercial transactions.
In 2018, the customs authorities recorded significant seizure, represented in more than $43.000 thousand, 4.5 million euros and DZD 10 million Algerian, and the largest amount was 2.2 million euros on the Algerian-Tunisian border.
Benkhallaf regretted what he described as a “multiplication of this phenomenon, from month to month”, asserting that Algiers foreign currency black market, known as the “square market”, which exercises its illegal activity in front of everyone in responsible of this scourge.
“The market has become a real stock exchange in Algeria that operates before the most important state institutions, the National Assembly, the National Popular Council, the Abbane Ramadan Court, the General Directorate of National Security … “.
Based on what he said, the MP asked a question to the Minister of Finance, Abderrahmane Raouya, inquiring about the measures that his ministry intends to take, to stand in front of this scourge that is eating away public money and hard currency, and the procedures to legalize the activity of this parallel market that is still operating illegally”.