December 8, 2019

Israel Thwarts Hamas Money-Laundering Scheme

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on July 17 that they thwarted a Hamas money laundering scheme occurring in the West Bank.

In a couple of tweets, the IDF explained that Hamas was using a fake travel agency as a front to launder money to West Bank Hamas operatives.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the money was laundered through “offsetting debts between several independent money exchangers” with little cash to avoid being registered in global banking systems. The IDF said that “large amounts” of money were laundered, but did not give a specific amount.

The IDF and Shin Bet arrested three alleged Hamas operatives, Khaled and Ibrahim Mzfr-A Mazari and Mohammad Abu Salim.

“[The] IDF and Shin Bet have strengthened enforcement measures against civilian companies cooperating with terror organizations in the area and in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement.

In August 2017, Israel uncovered a similar Hamas money-laundering scheme involving couriers to funnel money to Hamas operatives in the West Bank from Turkey. Hamas had funneled more than $210 million to its operatives through that scheme.