Somalis in Minnesota threaten to pull money out of banks
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota March 5 2012 (Garowe Online) – The Somali community in Minnesota have been affected by the block of wire transfers by US banks and are now threatening to pull their money out of other banks if they do not permit wire transfers to Somalia, Garowe Online reports.
A meeting was held on Saturday night discussing the issue of wire transfers and the effect of it has had on the local hawalas. Abdirahman Sheikh Omar a local Imam who spoke at the meeting touched on the dire need of money transfers to vulnerable people in Somalia.
“Hawalas or money transfers are many people’s lifeline in Somalia and we do not want to cut this lifeline so we are telling the banks that if they do not permit wire transfers that we will pull out our money and close our accounts,” said Sheikh Omar.
The US government put pressure on banks in Minnesota to stop facilitating money transfers for Hawalas that operate in the state; the reason being that money being sent from the US ends up in the hands of terror organizations. Hassan Jaami a Law professor at William Michel University who spoke at the meeting said that there is no evidence that money ends up in terrorist’s hands neither is that sufficient reason to stop wire transfers by the banks.
An organizer for the meeting who spoke to Uptake a an online news site that operates in Minnesota, said Somalis would start taking their money out of Wells Fargo on May 11 2012 if they did not agree to help facilitate wire transfers to Somalia.