Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

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Financial sleight of hand: suggested news reading

June 19, 2014
  • The Palestinian Authority’s stipends to convicted terrorists are beginning to worry countries that give foreign aid.  One P.A. official’s solution?  Have the PLO pay the stipends instead through a bookkeeping trick… more>>
  • The president of the Western Australia Islamic Council pleads not guilty in $8 million methamphetamine case… more>>
  • Two writers tried setting up shell companies 4,000 times as research for a book. They were only asked for photo identification 20 percent of the time… more>>
  • Despite the Dutch company Fokker’s voluntary disclosure of violating sanctions by shipping aircraft parts to Sudan and Iran, their scheme was sufficiently purposeful and egregious to warrant criminal prosecution… more>>

 

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Hawala used to launder £20 million in England

January 26, 2014

A British trial has revealed that criminal gangs have been laundering drug money by sending it through hawala and conventional banking channels from England to a hawala dealer overseas to send back to the gangsters in the U.K.

Despite the seriousness of the underlying crime, four of the men involved in the scheme have received light sentences ranging from three years in prison to supervised release with no prison time.  The sentencing is reminiscent of that of New York hawala dealer Faisal Shahzad, who funded the failed Times Square bomber and got off with probation.

Meanwhile, law enforcement and financial regulators continue to make marginal or piecemeal recommendations for how to protect financial markets and the public from the inherent risk of hawala transactions.  One simple idea would be to impose tougher penalties and longer sentences for hawala crimes.

From the Liverpool Echo on Jan. 17 (h/t Arun):

Gang who laundered more than £20m using ancient Islamic system jailed

Two Liverpool men part of four man gang

Two Liverpool men who helped launder more than £20m of drugs money through banks were spared prison.

The money is believed to have been laundered using legitimate bank accounts and an ancient  Islamic money lending system.

Kamran Butt and Instar Ahmed, from Greater Manchester and Liverpool men Steven McKenna and Sean Moore were put under surveillance by police in two undercover operations.

But officers found they were linked when Butt and Ahmed were seen depositing money into  the same bank accounts.

The money was transferred to the defendants, who were recruited by operatives in the Middle East, using the ‘Hawala’ system – an informal Islamic way of lending money based on honour agreements and third-party lenders.

A fifth man, named in court as ‘Akhtar’, was also heavily involved – but was deported to  Pakistan in 2012 and has not been traced since.

Watched by undercover police, Akhtar and Ahmed were seen depositing huge sums of money  at banks in Chorlton, Longsight and Manchester city centre.

The two men would travel to branches of Lloyds, HSBC and Halifax together but then pretend  not to know each other once inside.

Ahmed also worked in partnership with others in the gang.

Manchester Crown Court heard how on Monday, August 22, 2011, police intercepted Ahmed and McKenna and seized three rucksacks stuffed with more than £200,000 in cash.

On another occasion, Moore was seen with Butt in his Mercedes car.

Butt was stopped and a bag was seized, which was found to contain about £120,000 in cash.

His Stretford home was then searched and a further £10,000 was seized.Cash receipts in vehicles traced to the four men showed they were paying in anywhere from £500 to £10,000 a time.All the money is believed to have come from criminal gangs, mainly through drug sales.

The criminal cash was given to a Hawala money lender abroad who then transferred the  money to a Hawala lender in the UK and gave them a password.

This password was then passed onto one of the defendants allowing them to collect the cash.

They then paid the money into bank accounts in Manchester which the criminals had access to.

The court heard the four defendants were the bottom of the chain – below controllers and then  co-ordinators, working as collectors to receive the money, deliver it and pay it into various bank accounts in the UK.

After being caught, all four defendants pleaded guilty – Moore to two charges of money  laundering and Butt, McKenna and Ahmed to one charge of money laundering each.

Butt, of Great Stone Road, Stretford, was believed to be behind £12m in laundered cash, and  was sentenced to three years and six months.

Ahmed, of Kelstern Square, Rusholme, who is believed to have laundered £10m also received  a sentence of three years, six months.

Moore, of Kingfisher Grove, Liverpool, and McKenna, of Maley Street, Liverpool, both received  14 month sentences suspended for 12 months and 12 month supervision orders.

Moore was ordered to carry out 108 hours unpaid work and McKenna 150 hours…

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Bin Laden and a truck full of dope?

January 30, 2010

Despite overwhelming evidence that terrorism is funded by zakat payments and other traditional revenue streams of Islam (see here, here, here, here), the U.S. attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara perceives a world of symbiosis between terror and…drugs.

Mr. Bharara sees the connection as being so intense that he has disbanded his office’s old terrorism unit—which had successfully prosecuted culprits of the first World Trade Center bombing and the East Africa embassy bombings in the 1990s—and is replacing it with a new, merged, “Terrorism and International Narcotics” unit.

See excerpts below, or the whole story here, from the New York Times:

The United States attorney in Manhattan is merging the two units in his office that prosecute terrorism and international narcotics cases, saying that he wants to focus more on extremist Islamic groups whose members he believes are increasingly turning to the drug trade to finance their activities.

United States Attorney Preet Bharara is merging two divisions in his Manhattan office.

Some Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies have long pointed to what they say are the symbiotic relationships that sometimes exist between terrorist groups and narcotics traffickers, from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Hezbollah in the Middle East to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC…

By merging the units, Terrorism and National Security and International Narcotics Trafficking, Mr. Bharara said he is combining two groups that have developed many of the same skills — working overseas, often using classified information, to build complex cases against sophisticated targets…

The move effectively doubles the number of prosecutors in the office handling terrorism cases as it prepares for the trial of the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and four other former Guantánamo Bay detainees. It is a major undertaking that will unquestionably prove to be a significant draw on the unit’s resources…

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NEFA highlights funding strategies of jihad cell

November 4, 2009

North Carolina jihadist cell organizer Daniel Patrick Boyd, who was indicted this summer for conspiracy to support terrorism and on other charges, had money on his mind…

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Daniel Boyd, your local jihad financier

A new eye-catching presentation from the NEFA Foundation highlights some telling comments from the accused:

According to DOJ, “It was a part of the consipiracy to raise money to support the defendants’ efforts in training and provision of personnel, and to disguise the destination of such moneys from the donors.

An FBI summary of a recorded May 2009 conversation between Boyd and a witness states:  “Boyd states that the fact of the matter is, is that these dope boys [drug dealers], they be carrying a lot of money.  Boyd states that they should snatch it from them and use it for the ‘sake of Allah.’…If you take it, send it to the muhahidin…He wants ten grand and up.”

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