China tightens punishment for illegal foreign currency exchange


February 11, Fineko/ The Chinese authorities have amended the legislation to toughen penalties for illegal transactions on purchase and sale of foreign currency.

The Central Television of China reports that it follows from the explanations of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Prosecutor's Office of China.

Illegal foreign exchange transactions exceeding the total amount of 5 million yuan (about $741,600), or receipt of illegal profits from such operations more than 100,000 yuan (about $14,800) will now be considered a serious crime. Such offences would be punishable by up to five years' imprisonment and a fine that would exceed the amount of illicit enrichment by up to five times. However, in particularly serious cases, the term of imprisonment may be increased.

The authorities have taken those measures to maintain stability in the financial sector and in the national foreign exchange market. China is currently campaigning against the shadow banking sector. In 2016, law enforcement agencies uncovered 380 criminal associations that provided illegal banking services for more than 900 billion yuan (about $133.3 billion at the current rate).