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Treasury Designates Commercial Bank of Syria as Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern

311 Action Comes on the Heels of President Bush’s Declaration of National Emergency With Respect to Syria. The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS), along with its subsidiary Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, as a financial institution of “primary money laundering concern,” pursuant to Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. “Today we are using the authority granted by Congress under Section 311 of the PATRIOT Act to help protect theU.S. financial system against rogue financial institutions,” said Juan Zarate, the Treasury Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Executive Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. “The financial community around the world is now on notice that this bank presents a risk of tainted financial activity that must be addressed.” Information garnered shows CBS had been used by terrorists and their sympathizers and acted as a conduit for the laundering of proceeds generated from the illicit sale of Iraqi oil. Full Story

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