Financial services company, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), has denied that funds are being channeled through its bank to support the Islamic terror group Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
Israeli counter-terrorism officials reportedly held talks at Citibank headquarters in New York this week to discuss their concerns. Israeli diplomatic officials also met with their counterparts in Washington this week to discuss the matter.
Earlier Israeli press reports say that the Jordanian Al-Aksa Bank collected money from individuals and non-government organizations in the United States for the Hamas group, and made transfers via Citibank in Israel. Citigroup says the bank is reviewing the matter closely, but claims that even if the allegations are true, the Hamas does not appear on any U.S. sanctions list.
A Citigroup spokeswoman told reporters: "We would never knowingly do business with a terrorist organization. The U.S. government maintains a list of known terrorist organizations and we have processes in place to ensure that we don't do business with any entity on that list."
This is not the first time Citibank has been tied to suspect funding sources. A U.S. government report issued in November on Russian money laundering said that over $1.4 billion in suspect funding had passed through accounts at Citigroup. Citibank has also been probed for its role in allegedly helping Raul Salinas, the brother of the former Mexican president, transfer $100 million in supposed drug funding out of Mexico. The money reportedly went into Swiss bank accounts in the early 1990s.