A new anti-money laundering and terror financing bill in Somalia should help to ensure that money sent from abroad will reach relatives without falling into the hands of extremist groups, two Minnesota congressmen said Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minneapolis Democrat, released a
letter congratulating Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on the new law. He
said it was an important step toward improving Somalia's financial system.
The letter also was signed by Congressman Tom Emmer, a
Republican who represents St. Cloud, and three other members of Congress, all
This law ensures that money for food, education, and small
business start-ups sent from relatives abroad can reach families in Somalia
without falling into the hands of extremist groups like Al-Shabaab and
Daesh," Rep. Ellison said. Daesh is another term for ISIS.
Minnesota lawmakers have long sought a plan to allow money
transfers to continue after banks in the U.S. stopped handling them.
Somalis in the United States may only send money if a U.S.
bank is willing to facilitate the transfers. Any bank that does risks
multimillion dollar fines if it runs afoul of federal antiterrorism financing
laws — and complying with the laws is increasingly difficult.
According to Oxfam International, remittances account for as
much as 45 percent of the country's economic activity