The State Security Service has arrested about 40 Bureau de Change operators in Kano for allegedly selling foreign currencies above the official rates.
An official of the Alamant Bureau de Change Association in Kano, Abdulhamid Kabir, said the operators were arrested early Friday.
He said the association had met with officials of the SSS last week on how to ensure that the operators in Kano complied with the official forex rates.
“You know this issue is not affecting only one person, it requires time for us to convince our members to adopt government recognized official rates”, Mr. Kabir said.
“But all of a sudden this morning, the security (agents) raided us, whisking away many of our members”.
A source at the SSS office confirmed the arrest but insisted that those arrested were unlicensed operators who had been trailed for a while.
“I want to assure you that those arrested were touts who sell above official prices”, said the source who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the development.
Security agents had last week carried out similar raids on some Bureau De Change operators in Abuja and Lagos.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how a meeting between the SSS, the Bureau De Change and Central Bank agreed that the dollar not be sold beyond N400 to buyers.
The agreement was to help government reduce the exchange rate and enable importers easy access to forex.
Critics have said the clampdown will further make the dollar scarce and reflects government not allowing a free market.
The clampdown has, however, forced some of the money changers to go into hiding to sell at a higher rate to buyers.