Somali money biz: 'The money will go underground'

Associated Press + More

By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The chief executive of Somalia's largest money transfer company is warning that money wired into the country could "go underground" if Somalis aren't able to send money to family members through banks.

Abdirashid Duale, chief executive of Dahabshiil, Somalia's largest money transfer company, is asking Barclays to reconsider a recent decision to stop facilitating money transfers to some of Somalia's money transfer companies. He said Tuesday that regulatory bodies won't be able to monitor transfers if banks shut off the transactions.

A study released last month by the U.N.'s food and agricultural agency estimates that Somalia's diaspora community sends some $1.2 billion into Somalia annually, money that is desperately needed in one of the world's poorest countries.

Banks worried about anti-terror regulations have grown wary of facilitating transfers into Somalia.

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