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About $73.8m missing after Kenya currency swap

Kenyans returned the old Ksh1,000 notes worth Ksh209.6 billion ($2.096 billion) out of the Ksh217 billion ($2.17 billion) in circulation as at June 1 when the new look currency was announced by government, CBK governor Patrick Njoroge announced Wednesday.

This means about Ksh7.38 billion ($73.8 million) of the banned currency did not return to the banking system by close of the deadline, Dr Njoroge said at a press briefing. But he added that the demonetisation process was a success.

“The demonetisation process progressed very well,” said Dr Njoroge at a briefing.

“We did well and we are happy with the outcome.”

The returned money will be shredded and turned into briquettes, the governor said.

The stringent rules could have discouraged those with illicit money from exchanging the old notes in banks but Dr Njoroge maintained that the exercise was a success.

“The anti-money laundering measures we put in place were a success,” said the governor.

“Whoever is holding this (unreturned money) is poorer.”

The government in June issued an order for withdrawal of the older version of the Ksh1,000 notes by October 1, following the introduction of new notes, to tackle illicit financial flows and counterfeiting.

By September 30, about 149.6 million pieces of the new generation Ksh1,000 notes had been released into the banking system, Dr Njoroge said.

By BD 

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