Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, October 16, 2011

KUWAIT MONEY LAUNDERING ALLEGATIONS MAY BE GROUNDS TO RAISE COUNTRY RISK

The Arab media this week is full of reports that just under $400m was laundered for Iran by Kuwaiti PEPs. Additionally,  some commentators are suggesting that one of the the unnamed banks involved in payment for the plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States may have been in Kuwait.
The reputed routing of cash through Amsterdam and Moscow, if true, is extremely disturbing, as are reports that UK and EU banks are also involved.

Rumours and reports of pending investigations into alleged money laundering for Iran abound, and compliance officers at international banks who have exposure in Kuwait, or whose clients do business there, should carefully monitor unfolding events, as they may need to consider elevating country risk for Kuwait. The report that the International Monetary Fund recorded that there were 210 cases of money laundering discovered by the authorities, with only a small portion resulting in criminal charges and convictions, should alert compliance officers that there is a well-placed fear that Iran is laundering money through the State of Kuwait.

You need to examine the evidence, as it emerges, and assess country risk based solely upon that evidence.

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