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Fake Somali Banknotes Flood into Mogadishu

Businesses came to a halt in the Somali capital's main Bakara market on Thursday following the arrival of billions of counterfeit Somali banknotes which flooded into the market last night.

A large consignment of Somali banknotes worth over 2.5 million U.S. dollars were escorted to the market by over 70 battle wagons and more than 500 heavily armed militiamen after two medium-sized planes carrying the banknotes landed in Ballidogleh airport, about 90 kilometers south of the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

The money, which is printed in Ottawa, Canada, will be used for the encouragement of the peace in Mogadishu and will not hurt the economy or cause a serious inflation, according to the businessmen owning the money.

Nonetheless, the impact of the arrival of the money is already hampering the smooth flow of the business activities after the money traders stopped exchanging any more money and the owners of main food stores refused to accept Somali shillings in selling out their goods.

The U.S. dollar, which has been loosing ground against the Somali shillings since the inauguration of Somalia's transitional parliament in Djibouti last Sunday, is now regaining strength after this new shipment arrived last night.

The exchange rate fell to more than 1050 shillings to one dollar Thursday from 930 shillings to one dollar Wednesday.

It is believed that the Somali shilling will further devaluate once the newly printed money hits the markets in the next few days.

The Muslim scholars in Mogadishu have condemned the act of printing the fake money and blamed the countries that helped such businessmen for being behind what they called the dirty business of helping Somali civil strive to continue.

 


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