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NGO accused of supplying illegal tender

Updated Friday, May 31st 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

By LINAH BENYAWA

KENYA: Investigators have questioned a foreign official of an NGO operating in Mombasa over the making of cash coupons now used by some residents as a medium of exchange.

The team from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in Nairobi on Thursday quizzed a Mr Will Ruddick on the “Bangla Pesa” which is reportedly being used in Bangladesh area in Changamwe.

Police claim that the NGO, Koru Kenya, which gives the coupons to its members, is not registered while CBK officials believe the medium is a replacement of the Kenyan currency fearing it can destabilise the economy. These vouchers are said to have been in circulation for weeks following their launch on May 11 and are popularly among poor slum dwellers.

Five arrested

Apart from Ruddick, five people were arrested following the supply, distribution and use of the vouchers that resemble currency notes.

Confirming the arrest, Changamwe OCPD Joseph Muthee said police had received information that some residents in Bangaledesh were using the “Bangla Pesa” vouchers as substitute currency in trading within area.

Police received information that money which was not similar to Kenyan legal tender was in circulation and used in trading. My officers arrested the five people to help shed more light about the notes that were just vouchers inscribed “Bangla Pesa Business Network Voucher” which is used by a group of people belonging to a certain network and only members were allowed to do transactions using the vouchers,” Mr Muthee told The Standard.

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