Sudanese bank denies links with Bin Ladin
Sudan's Al-Shimal Islamic Bank has denied any financial relationship with Usama Bin Ladin in response to allegations by a US senator, a newspaper reported Sunday, September 30. Al-Shimal Islamic Bank general manager Muhamad Shaikh Muhamad said in Sudan's independent Al-Watan daily that bin Laden "has no relationship with the bank at present, neither as an account holder nor shareholder."
Senator Carl Levin told a senate banking committee meeting on money laundering that the bank may have given bin Laden access to banks in foreign countries, including the United States, through "correspondent accounts", or services provided to it by US banks.
But Mohamed said a previous account of Bin Ladin's Al-Hijrah Constructions Company, "has ceased to operate and has become a dead, inactive account since the investor left the country" in 1995. Bin Ladin lived in Sudan for around five years in the early 1990s and had numerous business interests there.
The bank chief described Al-Hijrah as "an ordinary company that was operating in accordance with the Sudanese Investment Act." Levin, the money laundering committee chairman, said that "any customer of the Shimal bank, including a member of Bin Ladin's organization, could penetrate the US banking system by going through one of these other correspondent accounts." ― (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)