The very capable folks at Money Laundering Alert sent out an email bulletin and posted an article online about the US Treasury Department recently fining Qatar’s largest private bank, Doha Bank $5 million.

The fine was imposed because Doha Bank failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) over 500 times over the past three years on transfers of money totaling $6.5 billion which could potentially involve terrorism funding.

The article makes no mention of whether Doha’s Shariah-Compliant operations were involved in these activities, though this wouldn’t the first time in recent months that the US Treasury went after an “Islamic” bank for failure to file Suspicious Activity Reports.

Earlier this year, similar charges were laid on University Islamic Bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/enforcement/2009-02-11.pdf

The Money Laundering article contains complete details:

http://view.exacttarget.com/?j=fe921c777760057976&m=ff011774716704&ls=fdf417787663077d7d117477&l=feef17767d6d02&s=fe30107574600779771c70&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe5612797164047a721c

Doha Bank is a major player in Shariah-Compliant banking in Qatar, which is the adopted home of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who needs no introduction to most SFW readers. But just in case, here’s our file on him:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/category/qaradawi/

Qaradawi is the Dean of the Islamic Department at the Faculties of Shariah and Education in Qatar and hosts a weekly TV show on Al Jazeera television, which is owned by the emir of Qatar. Qaradawi also sits on the Shariah advisory board of the national bank in Qatar.

One of the chief concerns over Shariah-Compliant Finance is the proven potential for funding of terrorism through zakat and purification payments to Islamic charities. For an Islamic bank to play fast and loose with rules and regulations designed to curtail terror financing certainly does nothing to allay those concerns.

Link to Doha Islamic Bank below:

http://www.dohaislamic.com.qa/engSite/emain.asp

 

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