The total amount of trade which the Central Bank of Iceland is investigating due to suspicion of violation of the currency restrictions is worth as much as 93.3 percent of the cod that was exported from Iceland during the first nine months of this year.
Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The alleged violations were committed from November 28, 2008 to October 1, 2009 and concern more than ISK 57.5 billion (USD 460 million, EUR 312 million), Fréttabladid reports.
For comparison, the export value of cod from January 1 to October 1, 2009 is ISK 61.6 billion (USD 492 million, EUR 334 million), as stated on the website of Statistics Iceland.
Such extensive violations of the currency regulations weaken the Icelandic króna significantly, said economics professor Thórólfur Matthíasson.
Additionally, around 100 cases are awaiting investigation, so that amount is bound to increase, Minister of Economic Affairs Gylfi Magnússon said in response to a question from Independence Party MP Ásbjörn Óttarsson in parliament.
The first cases of currency restriction violations will be referred to police in the coming weeks. The Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) is currently reviewing 22 such cases, which have been sent from the Central Bank of Iceland, RÚV reports.
When asked whether he believed that some of these cases will lead to harsh sentences, of up to two years in prison, director of the FME Gunnar Andersen replied that “judging by the extent of some of these cases, that may be the result.”
Click here to read more about the currency restrictions.