MESOP NEWS : HAMAS MONEY LAUNDERING VIA ERDOGAN
By Anna Ahronheim – Jerusalem Post – August 3, 2017 12:18 – ‘Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and abroad recruit emissaries from Judea and Samaria who travel abroad to transfer terrorist funds and messages to operatives in the field,’ Shin Bet charges.
A Hamas money laundering ring which funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars from officials Gaza to the West Bank city of Hebron via Turkey has been exposed, Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency cleared for publication on Thursday.
According to a statement by the Shin Bet internal security agency the complex money-laundering operation which began last year was uncovered in a joint operation by the Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police who arrested five Hamas members in the West Bank and identified another operative in Turkey and another in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
The scheme was run by senior Hamas activist Muhammed Mahed Bader from Hebron who was arrested in June. Bader, a member of the Palestinian legislative council recruited two other Hamas activists from Hebron, Mus’ab al-Haslom and Taha Othman, who were sent to Turkey to act as couriers under the guise of business trips.
While in Turkey the two met with Hamas activist Haroun Nasser al-Din, another Hebron resident who was released from Israeli prison as part of the prisoner exchange deal for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Al-Haslom and two others, his brother Yusri Hashalom and Umar Kimari are said to have been in contact with Majed Jaba, a Hamas activist originally from Hebron but exiled to the Gaza Strip after having been released as part of the Shalit prisoner deal. Jaba is suspected of helping to facilitate the transfer of the funds.
According to the Shin Bet Haroun gave Haslom and Othman tens of thousands of dollars. The two purchased merchandise in Turkey and imported the goods via international shipping companies in Hebron and gave the money from the sales to Hamas operatives in Hebron, minus a commission.
Al-Haslom was asked to transfer terror funds from Turkey to Hebron in order to finance the activities of Hamas members in the group’s headquarters in Hebron, in particular members of the Hamas Legislative Council. In addition, al-Haslom was asked to transfer funds for Hamas activists who had been released from prison.
The investigation revealed that $200,000 had been laundered in that manner.
The Shin Bet stated that Hamas “frequently mobilizes relatives of the organization’s operatives in the field, or is assisted by merchants and businessmen who pay a significant personal and business price for this activity.”
In addition to the money laundering the agency foiled the construction of a multi-million dollar concrete plant financed by Hamas which had been planned with the aim of laundering even more money.
“The exposure of the infrastructure indicates the constant motivation of Hamas activists in Turkey and the Gaza Strip to increase terror from Hamas in the West Bank. Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and abroad recruit emissaries from Judea and Samaria who travel abroad to transfer terrorist funds and messages to operatives in the field,” read the Shin Bet statement.
“The Shin Bet together with the IDF and the Israel Police will continue to act to expose and thwart terrorist activity directed by Hamas elements abroad and in the Gaza Strip,” the statement continued. An indictment against the suspects is expected to be filed by the military prosecution in the coming days. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israeli-spy-agency-uncovers-Gaza-Turkey-West-Bank-money-trail-501506