No bank losses
from Iraqi gang
Torbey: Assault did not result in any capital withdrawals
Local banks did not suffer any direct material loss from the recent attempt by an Iraq-based gang to defraud and blackmail them, according to Joseph Torbey Chairman of the Association of Banks.
He said that these attacks did not result in any capital withdrawals from the banking system.
“The main perpetrators have been incarcerated and law enforcement agencies are working to arrest their accomplices. It is the banks that are now waging a counter-attack on these gangs,” Torbey said.
He said that local banks are not suffering from any confidence concerns or any default problems or any conflicts with international or regulatory authorities, or any trade union. “The banks have nothing to hide. They are operating under a strict system regulated by the monetary authorities and in compliance with international regulations,” Torbey said.
The gang’s ringleaders first sent impostors to pose as bank customers and present photocopies of fake documents about alleged deposits in order to extort money from the banks. When the gang was not able to defraud the banks this way, it resorted to a blackmail campaign through the mass media and social media. The campaign included false rumors about money laundering activities.
Torbey said that he does not expect the gang to present fake documents again, as Bank Audi, one of the targeted banks, won a lawsuit against the culprits in this case.
He said that claims that local banks hold deposits belonging to the former Iraqi regime and late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein are completely unfounded, as these funds were repatriated by the new regime.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Aug 03, 2018