The photograph of the dollars falling out of the automobile of the deceased Hamas money launderer, shown on this blog earlier this week, is a pointed reminder of one thing : Hamas leaders have received a huge infusion of US Dollars, from their patrons in the Middle East, and they are not sharing it with the residents of Gaza. Reports that humanitarian shipments, of food and other necessities, have been diverted by Hamas leaders, for the use of themselves and their immediate families, while Gaza residents do without, illustrates the level of systemic corruption that exists in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
Palestinian leaders will certainly be looking to secrete their wealth, irrespective of the postwar situation in Gaza. That always means moving their hoard of cash into foreign financial institutions, which has been a tradition since the late Yasser Arafat, who held untold millions in European bank accounts, allowed his political allies to help themselves, so long as they remained loyal to him. These new greenbacks, sent form Qatar and other supporters of Hamas, will be going somewhere as soon as the smoke lifts.
To insure that you do not willingly bank Hamas money, remember these points:
(1) Many Palestinian leaders have dual citizenship; they will present passports from EU countries, or those elsewhere in the Middle East, when opening accounts. Check the place of birth, to rule out the possibility that you are looking at a Palestinian PEP, seeking to open a personal account with dollars.
(2) A Palestinian leader recently pointed out that many family names of Palestinians indicate that their family's country of origin, in the dim past, was elsewhere in the Middle East. For example, a common last name in the Territories is Al-Masri, literally meaning from Egypt. Other last names show origins from countries such as Saudi Arabia. They may be seeking to pose as nationals from other countries. If so, their regional dialect of Arabic will probably betray them as Palestinians. Ask your bank staff to tell you from which country the prospective client is really from, after speaking to him at length.
(3) Lawful residents of your country, of Middle eastern origin, who mysteriously come into serious wealth, and seek to deposit it into their existing accounts. They could be front men for Hamas agents. Ask them how they came to come into possession of so much US currency, and to show you the precise business transactions that resulted in such a windfall.
|Hamas leaders; both reputed billionaires
In short, expect to see efforts from corrupt Hamas officials, PEPs all, to hide their new-found wealth outside their country. My best guess is the most commonly-used European tax havens or offshore financial centers, but they could come to major banks in London, Vienna or Paris; Watch for them.