Sri Lankan foreign exchange racketeers are rambling who sneak through any loopholes in the Exchange Control regulations to overcome to pilfer foreign currencies in massive quantities. The related authorities of the Exchange Controller unit at the Central Bank have been successful in preventing the colossal loss of foreign exchange by the acts of such racketeers and our Sri Lankan civic scattered, migrants, international students all over the orb.
The practice of drawing foreign currency via ATM cards by Sri Lankan migrants and international students has been curbed by bringing in rigorous systems preventing the withdrawal of the respective foreign currencies of their choice via ATM’s located all over the world. This has been made conceivable through the amended Act No 12 of 2017of the Controller of Foreign Exchange familiarized two years ago. The Controller of Foreign Exchange has tutored all commercial banks to classify all accounts maintained by migrants and international students as CTRA (Capital Transaction Rupee Account) preventing the withdrawal of related Foreign Currencies from ATM’s in overseas countries, consequent to blocking these accounts.
All commercial banks have been instructed to refrain from issuing ATM cards to those CTRA holders. These timely interventions have prevented culprits from withdrawing foreign currency in incomparable amounts. flouting exchange control regulations. Since fashioning Act No 12 of 2017 the easy extraction of foreign currencies from ATM’s has been stalled. However it is learnt that legitimate deposits like proceeds of interest on fixed deposits, dividend warrants, pensions, etc could be transferred on request to the related accounts in foreign currencies maintained by CTRA holders domiciled overseas.
The writer domiciled in Brisbane, Australia too had encountered this restriction. But upon calling the CTRA unit on 0012477255, the problem was resolved when an executive in the CTRA unit explained the manner through which the CTRA holders could navigate in transferring funds in the respective currencies in a legitimate manner equivalent to monthly interest on deposits sans much of a hassle.
Sunil Thenabadu (CTRA holder in Brisbane)