Syrian funds come under UAE scanner

Haseeb Haider
Filed on July 6, 2012

Banks and financial institutions in the UAE have started searching for any accounts, investments, money deposited and transferred by 139 top Syrian regime officials including President Bashar Al Assad, his family, political associates, ministers, military top-brass along with 59-public sector institutions and agencies with wide tentacles.

The Central Bank of the UAE gave the banks and financial institutions three days to submit details of any financial assets, transactions made by the Syrian ruling elite.

The action, initiated on Thursday, is “based on a request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the decision of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States No 7442, dated 27 November, 2011, to impose multiple sanctions on Syria and decisions issued by the European Union and the United States involving economic sanctions on Syria,” a circular No. 3627/2012 issued on Thursday said.

The Central Bank asked the banks to undertake an immediate “search for any accounts, deposits or investments” owned by these individuals and institutions and inform it (Central Bank) of “any credit facilities, safe deposit boxes or financial transfers,” by Bashar Al Assad, his wife Asma Al Assad and other officials running his government including military officers.

The list also included 59 commercial banks, oil and gas companies, civil and military agencies and media outlets. It includes the General Intelligence Directorate, Military Intelligence Directorate, Air Force Intelligence Agency.

The Central Bank has ordered to provide its Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit within three days with the “detailed reports of amounts deposited or transferred to the accounts and amounts withdrawn or transferred from/to accounts including name of depositors/transferrers, beneficiaries and their sources from its inception till date along with necessary support documents”.

The list of 139 individuals includes Bashar Al Assad, Ali Mamluk, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaar, Atej Najib, Hafiz Makhluf, Mohammed Dib Zaytun, Amjad Al Abbas, Rami Makhlouf, Abd Al Fatah Qudsiyah, Jamil Hassan, Rustum Ghazali, Asif Shawkat, Hisham Ikhtiyar, Faruq Al Shar’a, Mohammaed Nasif Khayrbik and Bouthaina Shaaban.

Among the Assad family members it contains names of Nizar Al Assad, Hayel Al Assad, Bushra Al Assad, Manal Al Assad, Fawwaz Al Assad, Munzir Al Assad, Maher Hafez Al Assad, and Anisa Al 
Assad. According to the list, the Central Bank has asked to search for the accounts, investments and transactions by Bena Properties, Al Mashreq Investment Fund or Sunduq Al Mashrek Al Istitmari, Hamcho International Group, Military Housing Establishment, Mada Transport, Cham Investment Group, Real Estate Bank, Cham Holding, El –Tel Middle East Co, Ramak Constructions Co, Souruh Company, Syriatel, Commercial Bank of Syria, Scientific Studies and Research Centre, Business Lab, Industrial Solutions, Mechanical Construction Factory, Syronics-Syrian Arab Co for Electronic Industries, Handasiah, Syria Trading Oil Company or Sytrol, General Petroleum Company, Al Furat Petroleum Company, Industrial Bank, Popular Credit Bank, Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Saving Bank, Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Syrian-Lebanese Commercial Bank, Deir Ez Zur Petroleum Company, Dijla Petroleum Company, Central Bank of Syria, Syrian Petroleum Company, Mahrukat Company, General Organisation of Radio and TV, Cham Press TV, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Syrian International Islamic Bank and Syrian Gas Company.

Iranian individuals and entities have also been named in the list, including the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods, Law Enforcement Forces of Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Ta’eb or Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ta’eb, Brigadier Commander Mohammed Ali Jafaari, Major General Qasem Soleimani.

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