The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has penalised Shangri-La a Restaurant and Takeaway joint for exchange rate breaches in its product pricing. The restaurant was fined a whooping US$30,000 for its activities and was given seven days to respond.
Shangri-La is accused of selling and advertising their products using an exchange rate above the official rate determined by the foreign currency auction.
The FIU in a statement said, “Shangri-La restaurant and takeaway shall pay a fine of US$30 000 or an equivalent amount in Zimbabwe dollars, as the ruling auction-rate applicable on the date of payment.”
FIU said Shangri-La restaurant and takeaway sold and advertised their products at the parallel market exchange rate of US$1 to $240 local currency on or around February 9, 2022.
The FIU Director-General, Tichafa Chigaba said the restaurant and takeaway charged their products at a parallel market exchange rate thereby resulting in them being penalized for breaking the government’s rule of exchange rates.
The restaurant is said to have breached section 3(7) of the Statutory Instrument (SI) 127 OF 2021 which states that if a natural or legal person sells, displays, or offers goods or services for sale at an exchange rate higher than the ruling exchange rate, or imposes (for the primary purpose of encouraging payment in a foreign currency) a premium on Zimbabwe dollar payments or allows a discount on foreign currency payments, he or she commits a civil infringement.
The unit also said failure to pay the penalty amount in full, will attract a five percent interset on the remaining balance.
However, the restaurant is given a seven-day period to respond to the FIU on the charges against them, giving their reasons for not being fined.
“The operation of the penalty is suspended for seven days from date and time of service to allow Shangri-La Restaurant and takeaway to make written representations if any, why the penalty should not be confirmed,” FIU said.
Mr Chigaba said if Shangri-La restaurant and takeout fails to establish adequate cause why the penalty should not be confirmed within seven days, the penalty will be presumed confirmed as of the day the seven days have expired, and payment of the whole fine will be payable within 48 hours.
The FIU late last year also fined two Farm and City directors Tanaka Hosifi and Chester Noel Muteve accusing them of conniving to sell their products using $185 as the exchange rate.
It was said that by the time of their arrest, they had pegged the price of a 5-litre multi-clean liquid at $613,60 or US$3,33, implying that their exchange rate was $185 against US$1.
This was against the official exchange rate announced on October 5 last year of $98 to a dollar. However, the matter was withdrawn from court by the state due to failure to prosecute – Harare