By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 20 April 2016:
Armed members of the RADA security force this morning stopped black market currency dealers from opening their doors in Tripoli.
Though the traditional money shops are in the old town, the clamp down also extended to the other main concentration of dealers in Dahra.
The move was clearly a response to the plunging value of the dinar/dollar rate which last night hovered around LD5.30. The Central Bank of Libya’s rate is LD1.37. No rate has been quoted today but when the markets next produce a price, the dinar is likely to have declined still further.
CBL officials quizzed over the enduring liquidity crisis, maintain that is at least LD20 billion in circulation that is not held within the banking system. The argument is that the public do not trust banks. Yet some bankers doubt the existence of such a huge overhang of cash being hoarded by businesses and private individuals.
Black market dealers always protest that their rates reflect the real value of the dinar, based on demand. This however overlooks the likelihood that many dealers simply do not want to sell their hard currency, even at current climbing rates.