Kazakhstan Prosecutor General warns devaluation rumors may lead to criminal liability01 august 2014, 21:35
General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan has warned about criminal liability for spreading rumours alleging national currency devaluation, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the Prosecutor General.
"Over the past several days, information that has no official confirmation alleging upcoming devaluation has been spreading through various means of communication (media, social networks, text messages). These messages provoked a certain stir among the population and threatened to destabilize the situation at the domestic market. The Prosecutor General's Office of Kazakhstan would like to remind that on April 23, 2014, a new provision (Article 242-1) was added to the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan introducing responsibility for dissemination of false information," the statement said.
The press service also stressed: “In this regard, we officially warn against further dissemination of information about changes of the exchange rate of the tenge that is not based on official statements of public authorities. We also ask representatives of the media covering the issue to carefully check the facts to make sure no false information is published.”
Some currency exchange offices in Astana ran out of dollars on July 31, when long queues of residents wanting to exchange money started appearing on the city's streets. On August 1, the National Bank of Kazakhstan denied that the second wave of devaluation was forthcoming and said that the rumpus were not true. Adviser to the head of the National Bank Olzhas Khudaibergenov said that the National Bank may even apply to the law enforcement and oversight authorities and request them to identify the sources of the false information.
According to the new Criminal Code, those spreading rumors that trigger mass panic may be sentence to as many as 12 years in prison.
By Dinara Urazova