Bahrain dries up terrorist financing


Bahrain ranked best among Arabic-speaking nations with the lowest incidence of money laundering, according to the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index 2021.

The Swiss-based organization based its ranking upon data provided by the Financial Action Task Force, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

“The kingdom achieved 4.5 points and came in the second place after Israel, among the Middle Eastern countries in the area of combating money laundering, but came in first in the Arab world,” said Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

In July 2021, Bahrain’s High Criminal Court convicted six officials from the Bahrain-based Future Bank. Each was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a
$2.5 million fine for involvement in money laundering benefiting the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).  

Sheikha Mai bint Muhammad Al Khalifa, director of the Financial Intelligence Department at the Ministry of Interior, said her agency seeks to enhance Bahrain’s standing regionally and internationally in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Future Bank was accused of processing suspicious transactions for Iranian financial entities, including CBI, in violation of Bahraini laws and regulations. The value of the transfers — made in multiple currencies — amounted to more than $1 billion. 


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