Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, February 25, 2005

Suspected Terror Cash Source Shut

The Lebanon-based Arab Bank, target of multiple post-9/11 lawsuits alleging it funded terrorists, has been put out of the money laundering business, at least in the US:
U.S. regulators said Friday that Arab Bank PLC, one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East, has inadequate controls against money laundering at its New York branch and has been ordered to stop transferring funds or opening new accounts there.

In an unusual move, the Office of the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, a Treasury Department agency, said the branch was being converted into an entity that will not conduct traditional banking activities but will continue to engage in corporate and trade financing.

Arab Bank has branches in 27 countries in addition to the US, so this blockade of laundering at its only US branch will mean little unless other nations follow suit -- starting with Europe, one hopes.