Islamic State Receives $6.9 Billion in Money Transfers

The Islamic State received $6.9 billion in funds in recent money transfers through banks in Iraq, according to the Finance Committee of the Iraqi Parliament.

Companies were able to transfer the monies from the main banks in Iraq to banks in the regions controlled by the Islamic State despite the supposedly strict security measures the Iraqi government says it has taken in order to stranglehold the terror organization militarily and financially.

A member of the committee, Haitham El-Jabouri, told Al Araby Al Jadeed, a UK-based news outlet, the committee made requests to the banks to provide them with the names of the companies that sent the monies, but the requests were refused.

However, members of the committee succeeded via alternative sources to obtain the names of the banks as well as the companies transferring the money.

El-Jabouri added most of the initial deposits are being made by smugglers or professional financiers who manipulate money markets.

Just as the companies that transfer the monies are making tremendous profits, it is assumed the banks themselves are also cashing in.

Amin Baker, a member of the Judicial Committee in the parliament said 15 companies that transfer money were identified as being involved in the funding. Baker said the trail of money leads to Jordanian banks that initiate the transfers to Iraqi banks. The chain continues, he explained, through a number of institutions (banks and companies that transfer funds) until it reaches the Islamic State.

A number of institutions that contribute to the transfer of large sums of money to the Islamic State in Mosul or Kirkuk charge a minimum $600,000 in monthly fees for their services.

The Islamic State is considered the richest armed organization in the world since the terror group took control of Mosul and other regions in Iraq. Experts believe the organization receives a mix of regional and international monies.

Iraqi sources said the Islamic State stole close to 500 billion Iraqi dinars (about $432 million) from the central bank in the city of Mosul alone, which enabled them to execute military operations and pay the salaries of the thousands of foreign jihadis the group has attracted.

In January, the Islamic State approved a budget of close to $2 billion for 2015. The group was expected to pull in an estimated at $250 million alone in accrued interest.

The Islamic State makes its money through the sale of oil as well as through taxes, protection money, contributions, zakat (monetary tithes) and obligatory “charity” from merchants in regions under its control. In addition, the organization regularly attacks security forces and military bases as well as  convoys that are transporting salaries for government workers.

When the Islamic State took over Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah and 13 other cities, they seized all the funds from 62 governmental and civilian banks.

Oil wells under control of the terror organization export $100 million worth of oil monthly, according to experts.   

 

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