Deutsche Bank accused of funding the Islamic State terrorist group after FinCEN banking documents leak
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Deutsche Bank (DB) has been accused of funding Isis during its occupation of vast swathes of Iraq with huge cash transfers sent to the country discovered as part of the FinCEN files investigations.
Leaked banking documents have revealed suspicious money transfers of at least $4 billion (£3.86bn) flagged by the US branches of DB and the Bank of America (BoA) to a number of Iraqi banks between June 15 2014 and June 30 2015.
According to the documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, the BoA logged 524 bank transfers from the US to a number of Iraqi bank branches between February 2 and 13 2015 of more than $16.8 million (£15.4m).
Between May 18 and 20 2015 the BoA flagged 244 bank transfers for a total of around $41.4m (£32.3m), the papers showed.
This was a period when the Islamists were in control of the city of Mosul which they captured in June 2014.
It allowed Isis to take control of more than 121 bank branches, according to the Iraqi Central Bank, using the funds to expand its deadly operations.
Isis assets at the end of 2015 were estimated at $2.2bn (£1.7bn) made up of oil and gas reserves, cash, minerals and land.
The jihadists are known to have looted more than $400m (500 billion Iraqi dinars) in cash from Mosul’s financial institutions.
Much of it was laundered through the banking system and used to pay creditors for weapons, ammunition and vehicles.
DB is one of the major international banks operating in Iraq and was one of three, along with Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, appointed by then Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi to issue $6bn (£4.7bn) in government bonds to finance the budget deficit of $25bn (£19.5bn) in 2015.
The German banking giant has previously faced a number of lawsuits for alleged money-laundering and has been fined billions of dollars for “suspicious transactions.”
It filed two suspicious activity reports (SARs) “as part of a special project by the Bank of America to identify wire transfers that are originating from, and being sent to, these financial institutions located in Iraq.”
“Eighty one wires totalling $33.4m (£26.1m) were conducted via correspondent bank relationships that involved numerous financial institutions on a global level,” the BoA reported.
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas filed their SARs to FinCEN “in conjunction with ongoing law enforcement collaboration,” the exact nature of which is unclear.
DB has not commented directly on the allegations but said in a general statement: “In line with its legal and regulatory obligations, Deutsche Bank believes it is vital to combat financial crime in order to ensure the stability of banks and the integrity of the international financial system.”
Source: Morning Star Online