Minnesota Building Story
Number of Pages:6
Date Created:July 8, 2015
Date Uploaded to the Library:July 08, 2015
Autogenerated text from PDF
Tracing the path Ahmed aid his father offers window into system that fighting survive Minnesota the wake heightened scrutiny. The states Somali money transfer shops were shut down for more than two weeks when Sunrise Community Banks, the last known Minnesota bank wire money Somalia, closed their accounts. The closings sparked protests the Somali community the nation largest people who wire money support families their famine stricken native land wondered how their relatives would get without what, for many, their only source income. Now most the shops have reopened, but the situation precarious. They are using out-of-state banks running credit. They are being extra cautious, refusing name their new banking partners, for fear the exposure may make those banks nervous about the relationship and flee, too. bankers point view More U.S banks such Sunrise are cutting off services the money transfer shops that help countless people send money Somalia and nearby countries the embattled Horn Africa. The banks are growing uneasy about the business amid stiffened federal banking rules designed clamp down terrorfinancing. When you take the dollars and cents and compare the risk involved, there really imbalance, said David Reiling, CEO Sunrise Community Banks St. Paul, which stopped wiring money Dec. 30. And obviously, there was definite risk imbalance and one that tipped over from legal aspect when the court cases and the convictions started really transpire. cited least two recent cases involving people convicted using money wiring send support Shabab, designated U.S. authorities terrorist group Somalia. was really those cases where, studying and researching them, determined that could not have prevented that, said. Reiling said wants continue doing business with the money transmitters. working daily with federal agencies, elected officials and the Somali community two things: secure temporary waiverfrom regulations, like that granted humanitarian aid organizations providing relief East Africa; and come with permanent solution. Reiling said believes the permanent fix must come from coordinated effort, especially from federal agencies that are privy information about investigations that the banks dont have. Omar Jamal, first secretary the Somali Mission the United Nations, said the underlying problem that banks and federal agencies clearly have concerns about money laundering and terror financing, but the money service business owners, general, are not openly discussing those concerns. Back work, and wary Jan. 13, Tawakal Money Express Minneapolis opened for business again, handling smaller transactions $500 time. Company officials declined name the cooperating bank, saying they feared that people who dislike Muslims may harass bank officials and Tawakal Express could lose banking services again. The roundabout process adding time and cost their business expenses. trying make sure all our customers have opportunity send money, said Hamza Abubakar, compliance officer and marketing strategist for Tawakal Money Express Minneapolis. The main heart the operation the bank. The money transfer businesses act brokers between the people wanting send the money Minnesota and the banks that the actual wiring money overseas, explained. With fewer and fewer banks willing get involved with money wiring Somalia, this was door that has been getting slimmer, Abubakar said. This issue that goes back 2001 Money transfer companies came under heavy scrutiny immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. government leaders acted information that Osama bin Laden terrorist network used money wiring finance its activities. From today Garad Nor knows the scrutiny all too well. The CEO Tawakal Express, global money transfer company that operates U.S. states, Nor opened one the first Somali money-transfer businesses Minnesota. started his business the early 1990s Marshall, Minn. Nor, who became American citizen, later moved Minneapolis and continued work the money transfer business. But within months the Sept. attacks, U.S. agents raided and blocked the accounts five Minneapolis money transfer operations, including his company Aaran Money Wire Service Inc. Nor, who also goes the name Garad Jama, was Dubai the day learned through CNN that his name was listed among individuals and organizations that the US. government said had helped fund Osama bin Laden. returned immediately defend himself, and nine months later, after sued several members then President George Bush cabinet, Nor name was finally removed from the United Nations list entities believed have terrorist ties. The U.S. Treasury Department unfroze his business assets.