Three arrested in illegal FX operation

THREE Chinese business people were last Friday arrested and charged with breaches of Section 22 of the Bank of Jamaica Act.

The three — Shiyue Zhou, 36, businesswoman and operator of HTC Wholesale; JieQung Zhou, a 27-year-old cashier; and Ximei Wong, 42, — were held last Friday in an operation carried out in Montego Bay by personnel from the Financial Investigation Division (FID), Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Division (C-TOC) and the Major Organized Crime and Anti-corruption Agency (MOCA).

They were offered station bail in the sum of $300,000 each and will appear before the St James Parish Court on July 1.

A release yesterday from the FID said the operation followed lengthy and detailed investigations targeting illegal foreign exchange operations.

“The Financial Investigation Division and their partners are resolute in the fight against the underground money exchange economy which provides an avenue for money launderers to go undetected and also artificially distorts the official exchange rate,” said the release.

Selvin Hay, chief technical director of the FID, said it is illegal for anyone to engage in the trading of foreign currency without a licence issued by the Bank of Jamaica.

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