Somali money transfer companies moved more than $3.7 million in cash between suspected weapons traffickers in recent years, including to a Yemeni under U.S. sanctions for alleged militant links, according to a report seen by Reuters. The findings by a Geneva-based research group, the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, could further complicate attempts by Somali transfer companies to retain access to international banking services. Though they provide a lifeline to millions in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation, few banks will do business with them because of the risk of falling foul of international transparency and anti-money laundering regulations. Asked about the report, the Central Bank of Somalia, which regulates money transfer firms, said it was unaware of the transfers but would investigate and was in general making progress in countering terrorism financing.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA