Money Laundering in Zimbabwe

In some places, US bank notes are considered filthy lucre. So filthy, in fact, that they have to be washed. This isn't what you normally think of when you think of money laundering. This is actual washing-machine laundry in Zimbabwe! Since Zimbabwe dollars are near-worthless, American dollars are preferred, and they change hands a lot.
Low-denomination U.S bank notes change hands until they fall apart here in Africa, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.

Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside sheets and items of clothing.

It's the best solution—apart from rubber gloves or disinfectant wipes—in a continent where the U.S. dollar has long been the currency of choice and where the lifespan of a dollar far exceeds what the U.S. Federal Reserve intends.

The recommended method is hand washing, but washing machines are also used. Those who know say chemical dry cleaning will cause the ink to fade. Link -via Arbroath

(Image credit: AP/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Zimbabwe dollars are actually officially out of circulation. USD, South African Rand and Botswanan Pula are all excepted, though, as the article says, the USD is preferred.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It is actually rather surprising just how disgusting paper money can smell. I worked in a convenience store in high school and there were times that we would spray bills with Lysol. Some customers, for various reasons, did not shower regularly and when combined with not having a wallet then the money can get pretty foul.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Money Laundering in Zimbabwe"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More