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Price speculators face US$5,000 fine in Burundi

To discourage price speculators who are blamed for r ising cost of goods and services in Burundi, the country’s authorities have warned that fines of up to 5 million Burundian Francs (about US$5,000) would be slammed on anyone caught in the act.

Since the beginning of the year, prices of basic commodities, including sugar, h ave shot up due to what many believe to be artificial scarcity masterminded by price speculators.

Worried by the trend, the Director General of the Ministry of Trade, Industry an d Tourism, Gérémie Banigwaninzigo, issued the stern warning Tuesday.

The media were the first to raise an alarm on the “dangerous rise” in consumer p rices, with some goods selling at twice their normal costs due to the contrived scarcity.

Apart from rising prices of basic commodities, the cost of services are billed t o go up in the African nation this year.

They include the cost of procuring travel passports, driver’s licences and fuel prices, which may also lead to a rise in transport fares.


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