Monday, April 19, 2004

E*Trade no longer doing wire transfers into Iraq

Paul Vulf from E*Trade called me today to let me know that E*Trade has decided to stop processing hawala money transfers into Iraq because of the extra paper work this type of transfer requires as mandated by the USA Patriot Act of 2001. As this summary explains, there is significant additional paper work required, but nothing prevents E*Trade from making this type of transfer.

Obviously this is a big disappointment and while I will attempt to find a way to convince E*Trade of the error of their ways, I doubt anything can be done in the short term. In the mean time here is what I plan to do:
  • look for a serious international bank that is capable of handling transactions into Iraq

  • investigate how some of the other charities are handling money transfers into Iraq

  • I live close to Dearborn Michigan which has the highest density of Arabs in the US. I'll see if there are any organizations that can help with legitimate money transfers into Iraq.

Of course there is always the Fed-Ex option, if all else fails. I'll be emailing all the Iraqi bloggers tonight to inform them of this set back and what will happen next.

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