BD36 million in total fines issued in major money laundering operation
TDT | Manama
A total of BD36 million in fines was issued yesterday by the High Criminal Court against four banks and five officials involved in a massive money laundering operation. Chief Prosecutor Mohamed Jamal Sultan said yesterday that the verdicts were issued in five new cases involving five officials from Bahrain-based Future Bank, as well as three Iranian banks, reported our sister paper Al Ayam.
Fund transfers made by the banks amounting to around $1 million was also ordered to be confiscated. The court ruled in each case to convict all of the accused, and to punish the officials of Future Bank with a prison sentence of five years apiece while fining them the amount of $1 million each. In addition to this, each of the banks involved have also been fined $1 million.
Previously in this case, investigations had uncovered a plan that permitted Iranian entities, including those implicated in funding terrorism or which are under international sanctions, to carry out international transactions while avoiding organisational auditing.
It had been found that Future Bank, which is operating in Bahrain under the supervision of Bank Melli Iran and the Export Development Bank of Iran, had carried out thousands of international financial transactions, while providing covers for the Iranian entities there through deliberate concealment or removal of basic information while remitting money via the SWIFT network.
The Public Prosecution here investigated the matter and referred the Future Bank officials and the other implicated banks to the court for trial, as per the anti-money laundering and combatting funding terrorism law. Sultan added yesterday that the Public Prosecution is still continuing with its investigations with other related issues operation.