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CBN threatens to prosecute customers with fake travel documents for forex

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Commercial banks in Nigeria have threatened that customers who present fake travel documents for foreign exchange requests are at risk of criminal prosecution by the CBN.

The United Bank for Africa (UBA), in a statement, said it is only the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) that are currency exchange schemes specifically set up for Nigerians traveling abroad for personal or business reasons.

Recall that the CBN had directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to set up teller points to meet legitimate FX demands.

This medium reported that the development came after the apex bank halted the sales of FX to Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators.

UBA asked customers to submit only genuine documents to obtain FX for personal and business travel as well as payment for overseas education, medical and other eligible invisible transactions.

In a list of rules provided for customers, the bank said FX will only be sold for legitimate travel purpose as applicants are required to provide a valid Nigerian passport and a valid visa to an international destination.

The statement read: “Your ticket must be to an international destination outside of West Africa and Cameroon. You are required to provide an international return ticket, with a travel date not more than 14 days from the date of PTA/BTA purchase. 

“PTA and BTA requests are limited to a maximum of $4,000 and $5,000 per quarter per applicant respectively. Customers are required to return purchased PTA/BTA to their bank within two (2) weeks from the date of purchase if not utilized for the intended purpose or if for any reason the scheduled trip is cancelled.”

UBA explained that application on behalf of a third party is not allowed for FX requests, adding that the use of the fake document is prohibited, adding that such crime is punishable under Nigerian laws.

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According to the bank, “Do not Apply on Behalf of a Third Party. FX will only be sold directly to applicants who shall be Nigerians who are 18 years and above and have a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN). 

“False application and use of fake documents to purchase PTA/BTA is strictly prohibited and is a financial crime punishable under the applicable laws in Nigeria.

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“Defaulters of this FX policy may face sanctions that include being barred from accessing FX from the official FX market in the future, restrictions on their bank account(s) for such periods as may be determined by CBN as well as possible criminal prosecution.

“Please note that UBA is committed to partnering with the CBN to ensure a transparent, efficient and stable FX Market that meets the needs of all legitimate users.”

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