Thursday, November 10, 2011


Yesterday, another earthquake struck in Eastern Turkey, reportedly measuring 5.7 on the Richter Scale. The disaster was in the same general area as the 7.2 quake that occurred last month, and resulting in over 600 deaths. Though initial reports are incomplete, there has been substantial property damage, and emergency efforts are underway to rescue people from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Coming so soon after the October quake, expect global relief and recovery efforts to ramp up again, and for aid and assistance to flood in from other countries, especially financial help. Whilst desperately needed, such activities often allow money launderers and other financial criminals a window of opportunity to provide material assistance to terrorist organisations, masked as aid relief.

As we warned you after the first earthquake*, it is highly possible that PKK** financiers will seize upon this natural disaster to send funds to their organisation, which is also located in the area. Remember to carefully examine any charitable organisation, NGO, fund, or other entity,  not well known to you, who seeks to avail itself of your bank, and send funds.

Recent PKK attacks inside Turkey were especially violent, causing the Government of Turkey to conduct a major cross-border raid, into northern Iraq, in response. given that the PKK is a specially designated global terrorist organisation, do not expect any leniency from regulators,  should your compliance department negligently assist in funding this terrorist group. Expect the US, in particular, to be severe with the imposition of fines and penalties, should you send funds to the PKK, to further cement the Turkish-American relationship. Do not let your bank be a casualty of the war on terror, due to 2011 Middle East politics.

*Earthquake in Turkey = Possible Terrorist Financing Opportunity
** Kurdistan Workers' Party.

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