Tuesday, December 5, 2023


The Government of France this week imposed sanctions, including asset freezes, on YAHYA SINWAR, the leader of HAMAS. Reports from France confirmed that a decree appeared in an official government journal. Previously ( November 13), sanctions were imposed upon the terrorist entity's military commander, MOHAMMED DEIF, and the deputy commander, MARWAN ISSA. 

There is also an indication that Hamas' financing network will come under sanctions in the European Union. Compliance officers at major EU financial institutions should be looking carefully at their client lists for front companies and frontmen with Jordanian,Turkish or Lebanese passports, and consider closing any accounts that appear to have suspicious connections, including and charitable organizations linked to Hamas, rather than get caught flat-footed by sanctions, and possible negative media coverage of terrorists as bank customers. 

European banks whose business development departments have targeted an affluent Middle East clientele, and whose customer service officers might be tempted to look the other way in onboarding new clients, due to large bonuses awarded by management for bringing in lucrative new business, are especially vulnerable. There must be a reason France has now abruptly instituted sanctions, so many weeks after the October 7 attacks by Hamas upon Israeli civilians. Are there accounts of Hamas leaders at French, Austrian or Swiss banks? Several Hamas senior leaders, who reside in Qatar, are believed to be billionaires, due to their diversion of aid money to their personal use. 

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