Sunday, October 23, 2011


This week's earthquake, whose epicentre was located in Eastern Turkey, has reportedly* resulted in an unknown number of deaths, and major damage. Remember well that terrorist financiers frequently choose to employ natural catastrophes, which generally result in aid shipments, and funding from charities and NGOs, to hide their funding activities. Note well that the designated global terrorist group PKK** operates in the region.

Whilst we do not suggest that you decline to open accounts, or wire funds, for charities wishing to aid earthquake victims, I have suggested that you ask the following questions, when presented with a new, or previously inactive, client who claims to be sending funds for Turkish earthquake relief:

(1) Is the charity known in the community, and does it have a history of providing aid in natural catastrophes ? Some newly-organised "charities" have been formed purely for the purpose of funding terrorist organisations. What's the NGOs record ?

(2) Who are the leadership of the organisation ? Are they individuals previously linked to other charities, or people with a "colourful," or even criminal, past. Run the names of the leaders on all the high-risk databases you subscribe to.

(3) Has the NGO asked you to fast-track their aid payments, or take shortcuts with due diligence, or your compliance protocols, due to the urgent needs of the victims ? if you see this red flag, coupled with either of the others previously mentioned, it is suggested that you immediately initiate Enhanced Due Diligence, before wiring funds for this new client, lest you later learn, to your dismay, that it was a front for terrorist financing.

Remember, the vest majority of international aid is legitimate, and we do not want to delay that in any way, but watch carefully for an NGO whose characteristics fit the above profile.
**Kurdistan Workers' Party

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