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Foreign Banks Warned to Cooperate or Face Consequences

Foreign Banks Warned to Cooperate or Face Consequences

Foreign banks that do not cooperate in freezing terrorists' assets can no longer do business in the United States or U.S. financial markets, says Jimmy Gurulé, Treasury under secretary for enforcement. "We are putting the world on notice that those choosing to fund acts of terror can no longer hide behind legitimate business functions and expect to escape action by the U.S.," Gurulé said. Source: Washington File (EUR511), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., October 12, 2001.

In an October 12 statement, Gurule described the U.S. action freezing financial assets of 39 more persons and entities connected with terrorism, including those on the FBI's most-wanted terrorists list.

Among the entities whose assets have been frozen were two honey producers and a bakery now known to funnel terrorist money surreptitiously, he said.

"We are developing an understanding of the vast and complicated network that funded the evil acts of September 11," he said.

Following is the text of Gurulé's statement: (begin text)

October 12, 2001 Statement of Jimmy Gurulé, Treasury Under Secretary for Enforcement

I want to join [Treasury] Secretary O'Neill in thanking you all for coming today. As the Secretary has stated 39 additional names have been added to the President's September 24th Executive Order. In addition to the 21 new names listed here today, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has also instructed U.S. banks to freeze the assets of 18 of the 22 FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists. The remaining 4 have already been named by President Bush in the Annex to the September 24th Executive Order.

When the President decided to take action against the terrorist's financial infrastructure, he galvanized the world to take unprecedented steps to disrupt the financial networks of terrorism. Today we add another brick to the international wall we are building against the funding of terrorist acts around the world. We are determined to paralyze the terrorists' ability to move funds through the international banking system, and we are using every tool at our disposal to cut off the various sources of funding for their atrocities. The civilized world has spoken with one voice -- individuals and organizations that infuse these terrorist organizations with money are no better than the terrorists perpetrating these acts. We will shut down their fundraising and expel them from the global financial system. Today we have taken a giant step forward in that effort.

The list you have here today is the product of an intense process of information sharing among federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. As we combine our knowledge, we are developing an understanding of the vast and complicated network that funded the evil acts of September 11. We will follow the money trail to identify all of those who provide support for terrorism, wherever they may be. We will block accounts here in the U.S., and when funds are found abroad our allies will join us in this effort to block assets and deny terrorists the resources they need to inflict terror on the U.S. or any other nation.

Let me address for a moment some specific entities that are mentioned on the list. There are 6 entities and 33 individuals. Additional names will be added to the list in the weeks and months to come. As has been widely reported in the news media, the terrorists often use creative methods to transfer funds internationally without detection. For instance, some honey producers, and other related businesses in the Middle East, have been known to act as vehicles for moving terrorist funds surreptitiously. The Treasury Department today identified two of these honey businesses, in addition to a bakery, that funnel funds to terrorists. We and our allies around the world will be blocking the assets of these entities. These entities, and the banks that do not cooperate in blocking the assets, will no longer do business with the United States or with U.S. capital markets. We are putting the world on notice that those choosing to fund acts of terror can no longer hide behind legitimate business functions and expect to escape action by the U.S.

I would be happy to answer a few questions at this time.

(end text)

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
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