Western Union freezes Muslims' money transfers

"Western Union told me that if I send money to Sahir Mohammed, the money will be blocked because of his name."

Western Union freezes Muslims' money transfers

Western Union officials said they're following orders from the U.S. Treasury Department said to be aimed at blocking cash flows for "terrorist links."

300 money transfers from a single Dubai franchise were blocked or delayed each day - none of which ever turned up a terrorist link, said one official at Western Union, also accused of blocking transfers between customers whose names even partially match names included in the Treasury list.

An Indian driver accused the agency of preventing him from sending US$120 (euro96) to a friend at home because the recipient's name was Mohamed.

"Western Union told me that if I send money to Sahir Mohammed, the money will be blocked because of his name," said Abdul Rahman Maruthayil, who later sent the money through UAE Exchange, a Dubai-based money transfer agency.

In another case, Qadir Khan, Pakistani, said Western Union blocked cash transfer to his brother, Mohammed, for a cataract operation.

"Every Mohammed is a terrorist now?" Khan asked.

"Mohammed and Ahmed have become problematic names because they are so common on the list of terrorists," said Nixon Baby, who runs a Western Union franchise in Dubai.

"These are regulations that Western Union is required to obey. We do not have any control."

In some cases the cash transfer is delayed for few hours, but in other cases it's blocked entirely.

The U.S. Treasury and CIA are said to have been tracking confidential financial transactions handled by the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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