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NBKR information message

13 October 2023

There are currently functioning telegram channels where individuals and other persons, concealed under various names, are posting messages on the purchase and sale of cash foreign currency indicating the rates and volumes. Such actions, as well as the conduct of foreign currency exchange operations without a license (certificate) that is issued as prescribed by law, violate the requirements of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, which, in turn, under Article 299 of the Contravention Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, entails a fine of 175 estimated figures (17,500 soms) for individuals and 550 estimated figures (55,000 soms) for legal entities. Systematic unlicensed activities, according to the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, are subject to criminal liability.

Additionally, criminal elements may also participate in Telegram channels. In this regard, the conduct of exchange operations by private persons in unequipped points entails high risks, including the risk of harm to the health and life of citizens, and may also lead to negative consequences, such as robberies.

Furthermore, when conducting foreign currency cash exchange transactions with the above-mentioned persons, citizens are exposed to the risk of being cheated, and when disputes arise, they have no proof of exchange.

Additionally, it should be noted that when exchanging cash foreign currency through social networks, cases of fraud and issuance of counterfeit banknotes have become more frequent, in this regard, the National Bank calls on citizens to conduct exchange operations only in special organizations licensed by the National Bank.

Considering the above-mentioned, the National Bank warns against conducting exchange operations in unequipped (non-specialized) institutions that are not licensed by the National Bank. If any facts of participation and carrying out of exchange operations with foreign currency by individuals and/or legal entities, including through telegram channels, are revealed and established, these persons will be held liable as required by the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

To prevent breaches of the requirements of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic and regulatory legal acts of the National Bank, regular inspections of the currency market participants are carried out.

Since the start of 2023 (as of 30.09.2023), based on the results of the inspections of persons who exchanged foreign currency without the relevant license of the National Bank, fines were imposed on 84 individuals for 17.5 thousand soms (total amount of 1,470 thousand soms).