Saudi banks stop remittances to Sudan over sanctions
Several Saudi and international banks have banned all transactions including remittances to Sudanese banks.
Desperate Sudanese workers in the Kingdom are now sending money to their families with fellow nationals.
There are an estimated 300,000 Sudanese workers in the Kingdom who send home about SR500 million a year. The banks informed the Central Bank of Sudan about their decision on Feb. 28, according to sources quoted by a newspaper in Khartoum recently.
Ibrahim Badawi, an international banking expert, quoted by a Sudanese website recently, said Sudanese banks have not been able to open lines of credit. He said the Sudanese government would eventually have to face up to the “disaster” of having a lack of foreign currency.
Abdullah Marzook, a banking expert in the Kingdom, said this would affect “much needed hard currency inflows.”
Yasin Himeida Ibrahim, secretary general of the Sudan Chambers of Commerce Federation, reportedly said in March that the country's central bank governor and minister of finance were negotiating with Saudi financial institutions to reverse the decision.
A Sudanese diplomat in Saudi Arabia, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We have received several complaints from Sudanese expats in the Kingdom, saying Saudi banks have stopped transferring money to their homes.
“However, there has been no statement issued by the Saudi or Sudanese government confirming that Saudi banks have decided to take this step, which may have a negative impact on the economy of Sudan.”
Several Sudanese expatriates told Arab News that all Saudi banks stopped transferring their money three months ago. Most are sending their remittances with friends.
“It is a real problem when I cannot help my folks at home who are waiting for money. This year I failed to send SR5,000 to Sudan because Saudi banks have taken a decision to stop remittances,” said Mohamed Adem, a Sudanese living in Jeddah.
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