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EghtesadOnline: The Headquarters for Combating Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange has announced a ban on buying and selling foreign currency hawala on the internet.

A press release on Monday said the measure is in line with anti-smuggling laws and the Central Bank of Iran regulations regarding the work of moneychangers, Mehr News Agency reported. 

The headquarters tasked all provincial offices to monitor illegal operations on cyberspace, especially payment gateways, Instagram and other social media platforms. 

According to Article 28 of the anti-smuggling body regarding activities of and supervision over the bureaux de change, any form of currency trade on cyberspace is banned and all such trade is the function of licensed moneychangers. 

The measure also seems to be in line with the CBI's recent bid to control the chaotic currency market and prevent rent-seeking. 

In another update, nine exchange shops in Tehran were shut down on Monday, due to "illegal deals and undermining the economy," IRNA reported.

Postponing the settlement of foreign currencies deals and forex trade on behalf of overseas clients without a license is banned in Iran.  According to the CBI website, 764 moneychangers and have a permit. How many do not is not known.

Foreign currency rates jumped against the rial since March and onset of the new Iranian calendar year, reportedly after, among other things, the coronavirus pandemic halted trade between Iran and neighbors and adversely affected forex supply while demand rose to new highs. 

Each dollar was offered at 234,000 rials in Tehran’s free market. The greenback has gained 40% in the past three months. One euro fetched 263,000 rials, or up 0.7%  compared to Sunday's close.


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