OPERATED BY SLAJ

Misleading

FACT-CHECKED

by SLAJ |

No, while the old Leone (banknotes) will no longer be used to buy and sell from December 31, 2023, they can still be exchanged with new (redenominated) banknotes from January 1 to March 31, 2024, at any commercial banks and designated agents.

SLAJ iVerify has fact-checked the above claim and found it to be Misleading

Claim

“The old banknotes (Money) expire on December 31, 2023, and will no longer be in circulation. Therefore, please hurry and use them before the specified date”

Rating Justification

The fact-checking desk of SLAJ iVerify has fact-checked the above claim and our investigation found same to be misleading.

To arrive at this conclusion, SLAJ iVerify did the following:

We utilized a WhatsApp voice note from Beresford Taylor, Assistant Director of Communications at the Governor’s office of the Bank of Sierra Leone.

“The old banknotes will no longer be used to buy and sell starting from December 31, 2023. However, at any commercial bank and designated agents, they can be exchanged for new banknotes from January 1 to March 31, 2024. After March 31, 2024, the exclusive avenue for this exchange will be the Bank of Sierra Leone or its designated agents only” Mr Taylor said in the voicenote.

We also conducted a thorough online search and found the same details that corroborate the statement made by Beresford Taylor on the Sierra Leone Monitor website.

“The transition period, allowing the use of the old currency, including pre-redenomination notes and coins, will officially conclude on December 31, 2023. The Bank has outlined a structured process for exchanging the old currency. From January 1, 2024, to March 31, 2024, individuals can exchange the old currency for the redenominated currency at various locations, including the Bank, designated agents, commercial banks, and other financial institutions across Sierra Leone.” Mr Taylor said to Sierra Leone Monitor.

The evidence gathered supports the conclusion that the claim is misleading because while the old banknotes will no longer be used for buying and selling after December 31, 2023, they can still be exchanged for newer (redenominated) notes from January 1 to March 31 2024.

Evidence and References

WhatsApp audio from the Assistant Director (Communications) at the Governor’s office of the Bank of Sierra Leone Beresford Taylor.

https://www.sierraleonemonitor.com/bank-of-sierra-leone-declares-conclusion-of-currency-transition-period/ (Sierra Leone Monitor website)