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Today: Jun 14, 2024

Iraq’s Al-Huda Bank: Hit with US Treasury’s Mighty Sanctions

1 min read

TLDR:

– The US Treasury Department has sanctioned Al-Huda Bank, an Iraqi bank, for its involvement in terrorist financing and money laundering.
– The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a regulation that will prohibit domestic financial institutions from opening or maintaining accounts for Al-Huda Bank.

The US Treasury Department has designated Al-Huda Bank, an Iraqi financial institution, as a conduit for terrorist financing and a foreign bank of primary money laundering concern. This designation comes as part of the US government’s efforts to crack down on illicit financial activities that support terrorism. In addition to the designation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a regulation that will cut off Al-Huda Bank from the American financial system by forbidding domestic financial institutions and agencies from opening or maintaining accounts for the bank.

The owner of Al-Huda Bank is now subject to penalties from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and both the bank and its foreign supporters, including Iran and its proxies, are accused of diverting funds that should be used for legitimate commerce and the economic self-sufficiency of the Iraqi people. The US Treasury Department emphasized that while Iraq has made progress in combating illicit financial activities, there are still actors who aim to exploit the country’s economy for their own interests.

Brian Nelson, the US Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, highlighted Al-Huda Bank’s role as a key money laundering channel for Iran and its destabilizing terrorist activities. He proposed severing the bank’s correspondent banking access and imposing sanctions on its owner. Nelson recently met with senior Iraqi officials to discuss these issues.

The US government’s actions against Al-Huda Bank reflect its commitment to targeting financial institutions involved in terrorism and money laundering. By cutting off the bank from the American financial system, the US Treasury Department aims to disrupt the flow of funds that support terrorist activities. The sanctions also serve as a warning to other financial institutions that choose to engage in illicit activities.