Hawala sanctioned for Taliban support

Nov. 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Sanctions were imposed on a hawala -- a facility within a financial remittance system -- and two people tied to the Taliban, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The sanctions forbid U.S. citizens from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the money exchange house Rahat Ltd., its owner, Mohammed Qasim, or the owner/operator of Rahat's Quetta, Pakistan, branch, Musa Kalim, the Treasury Department said in a release.

The sanctions also freeze assets Rahat, Qasim or Kailm may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Rahat has branches in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran that have been used by Taliban militants to facilitate their illegal financial activities, the department said.

"Today's action demonstrates our continued efforts to target and disrupt financial activity linked to the Taliban's use of hawalas," said David S. Cohen, undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "We will continue exposing these illicit networks and deprive the Taliban of their sources of funding no matter where they turn."

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