Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MONEY CONTINUES TO FLOW OUT OF SYRIA

Knowledgeable sources in the Middle East have estimated that $1bn-3bn has been bulk cash smuggled out of Syria since the opposition protest movement began. The currency,  generally converted to US Dollars on the black market, is smuggled into Lebanon. The problem is, where does it go from there ?

Lebanese restrictions on both cash deposits and conversion to other currencies makes placement of this "flight capital" difficult at best. Therefore, look for it to travel elsewhere, without being declared. Have you opened accounts recently for Syrian expats, or Lebanese businessmen who could be fronting for others ?

Fallout from the Arab Spring includes the transfer of illicit wealth, as well as genuine refugee businessmen presenting themselves at your bank. Let we warn you that even Enhanced Due Diligence may be insufficient to separate those with dirty money from the legitimate. Source of Funds information may be outright impossible to obtain; references bought, and PEP status cleverly concealed; Watch yourself with Syrian money, knowing that most successful businessmen were somehow connected to the regime.
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