Rumors about the gold bars that were reportedly withdrawn from the BCT on January 14, by Leila Trabelsi and that proved unfounded in light of reports of external and independent auditors and then the case of banknotes discovered in the former residence of the Tunisian president, leads us to ask a number of questions on the origin of the amounts found and the impact of all these repeated rumors on the Tunisian institutions.
Regarding these bundles of money discovered in the coffers of Sidi Bou Said Palace, well informed sources told us banknotes in question have a counterpart materialized by
accounting supports in records of the BCT.
In fact, according to our sources, there are three sources of supply in banknotes at the
– Banknotes coming from withdrawals from the treasury account in exchange for Treasury receipts signed by duly authorized public accountants.
– Banknotes from the conversion of foreign currency forwarded by the Presidency of the
Republic at the central bank and that give rise to bills of exchange, such as all exchange operations conducted by the central bank.
– Conversions of banknotes of 10, 20 and 30 TD, presented by the Presidency of the Republic, in notes of 50 TD.
These would be, according to our sources, the only operations that could lead to direct deliveries of banknotes from the BCT to the Presidency of the Republic. All, we are assured, are materialized by easily verifiable supports and accounting documents (receipts of Treasury, bills of exchange etc…). Our sources say, as well, that there would
been no supply of banknotes without justification and no supply of banknotes for nothing.
It should also be noted that Tunisian commercial banks can be supplied themselves in banknotes from the BCT on the basis of checks drawn by them on their accounts at the BCT. They can (commercial banks) in turn serve as channels for supplying other traders with new banknotes.
Thus, sources for the supply of new or used banknotes are diverse and are not directed solely to the central bank, whose supplies are always justified by verifiable accounting documents.
It remains to say that these repeated rumors regarding the BCT leads inevitably to the following question: what is the impact of these rumors on its credibility and that of the entire Tunisian financial sphere.
It should be noted here that the BCT has been tasked, since 1994, with realizing debenture loans in favor of Tunisia, and it is also BCT that repays these loans. The sovereign rating
(already down) of Tunisia and its ability to raise necessary resources for the country’s development are directly related to the reputation of this institution, the Central Bank, on which some are struggling to cast doubts, as real enemies of the Revolution which advocates employment and regional development.
It is, in our view, dangerous for the Revolution and the prospects of this Revolution that many imitate while others scrutinize to present it as a bad example to those who would follow it, to question everything, cast doubt on everything and everyone and to see treachery and corruption everywhere.
It is therefore more urgent to trust our managers and our institutions and not to lend an ear to those who want to put this people to their knees economically, this people who had braved the dictatorship and hegemony to hunt those who have stolen their money, freedom and dignity. This people who is given as an example around the world.