The Bank of Namibia, the central bank of the country, has recently reiterated its position on online foreign exchange (forex) trading, as protestors take to the streets after their money was withheld in relation to an FX scam.
In particular, the central bank has highlighted in a statement published last Friday that it does not prohibit online forex trading in the country. This message was previously communicated to the public in October of 2019.
In the statement, Emma Haiyambo, the bank’s director of strategic communication, explained: “The bank does not prohibit the online forex trading, however, members of the public who do so should utilise their own funds and not solicit funds from the public to invest on their behalf under any pretence, as that contravenes the applicable laws.”
The statement was issued on the 7th of August 2020 following a peaceful protest by a group of people who willingly gave their money to forex traders Michael Amushelelo and Gregorie Beni Cloete for investment. The protestors were demanding the release of their money.
Amushelelo and Cloete were arrested back in October of last year, after allegedly receiving millions of dollars from consumers through their financial schemes Project One Million and Asset Legacy Investments CC. The did so without being authorised in terms of the Banking Institution Act.
Bank of Namibia is bound by law
As part of the ongoing legal action, authorities have frozen all bank accounts belonging to the accused, as well as seized all properties and vehicles. As part of the protest on Friday, the group, called Project One Million Investors, submitted a letter to the Bank of Namibia, asking for their funds to be released.
According to New Era, a daily national newspaper owned by the government of Namibia, the investors highlighted to the bank that they are struggling financially and were unaware that they were investing in a scam. The central bank has 21 days to respond to the letter.
“The Bank recently met some investors in these entities at a meeting held on Wednesday, 05 August 2020, at which they pleaded for refunds of their investments. The Bank reiterated the stance that it is bound by the legal process concerning the funds in Bank accounts that was frozen by the Bank. The Bank undertook to relay the concerns of the individuals with whom they met to the Office of the Prosecutor General,” the bank said.