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Sudanese experts warn against use of mobile phones money transfer in terrorism financing

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Sudanese experts warn against use of mobile phones money transfer in terrorism financing - (Reuters/Robert Galbraith Photo)
May 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Several Sudanese bankers Saturday have warned against the use of credit transfer via mobile phone in terrorism financing in light of the lack of control over the volume of funds transferred through the service.

Large segments of the Sudanese society send money through the credit transfer service provided by the three nationwide mobile operators.

Speaking at a press forum in Khartoum Saturday, executive director of the Banking Services Company Omer Hassan al-Omerabi said the lack of control over the credit transfer via mobile phone could be exploited by some parties in terrorism financing”.

He said that 85% of the Sudanese use the credit transfer through mobile phones, pointing that Sudan ranks second in the world after Kenya in the use of this method according to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2014.

Al-Omerabi added that the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) has no control over the service, stressing the method poses a real danger as it is not subjected to any control by government organs.

For his part, the CBoS representative Zahir Fageery disclosed that a joint committee from the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) and the CBoS has been formed to investigate the issue, saying its first decision would be to set limits for the money amounts that can be transferred.

He said that starting from next month each customer will be allowed to transfer only 500 Sudanese pounds (SDG) daily.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Consumer Protection Association (CPA) Yassir Merghani criticised the delay in introducing the CBoS’s controlled money transfer service, holding the mobile operators responsible for the delay.

“If there is suspicion of corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing, the service must be stopped immediately,” he said.

Sudanese parliament adopted in June 2014 a law to combat money laundering and terrorism financing that contained articles related to consolidating investigations and financial intelligence which is the enforcement mechanism that receives notifications and information from financial institutions and other parties.

Sudan was placed on the U.S. terrorism list in 1993 over allegations it was harbouring Islamist militants working against regional and international targets.

(ST)

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