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.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Preparing another wire transfer

ays has requested I re-send the money via the Jordanian bank instead of the Kuwaiti bank. I'll pull everything together and get the money off tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The money has been found, unfortunately its back in my account

E*Trade called today to tell me the wire transfer to Omar & ays has been returned. I’ll email them both shortly and find out what they want to do. I had hoped the western banks would be close to starting operations in Iraq, but that still seems be a ways off.

I’ll post as soon as I hear from Omar & ays.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Still working on the money transfer to Omar

I was hoping that the transfer to Omar would have resolved itself by the time I got back from Europe, but that hasn't happened. Omar has sent me the name and phone number of the branch manager and I will have E*Trade include this information on the next message to the bank.

This stuff takes time, but hopefully once the western banks open up things should go much smoother and faster.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Permission Granted

Received the following email from Alaa today.
Dear Tom Villars
Thank you for your felling, all my friends told my about your fidelity.
So this is my password and user name
User name : xxxxx
Password : xxxxx

thank you agian


With this confirmation we are ready to begin accepting donations for Alaa's blog.

Update* The PayPal button should be working now. Leave a comment if you are still having problems.