xForeign exchange transferred by Algeria abroad to finance imports during Jan-May 2013 rose by 13.6% from Jan-May 2012 to $30.45bn. Reacting to this rise, Algerian PM ‘Abd al-Malik Sillal instructed Finance Minister Karim Djoudi to curb illegal forex transfers by tightening up current regulations, Algerian news agency APS reported on 3 August. He also asked Mr Djoudi to take all necessary measures against companies and importers believed to be fraudulently transferring foreign exchange out of the country.

Algiers decided to act after a joint report by the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Algeria (CBA) alerted the authorities to the seriousness of offences affecting the country’s foreign trade sector. The report also said that a total of AD17.33bn ($234mn) was paid in fines during January-May 2013 for offences recorded by Algeria’s customs office, Direction Generale des Douanes (DGD) and the police. DGD head Raigh bin ‘Ammar says his department is currently investigating the infringements in foreign currency transfer and will prepare a report on how to combat the irregularities. (CONTINUED - 303 WORDS)