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Cablegate: Treasury Das Daniel Glaser,S Meetings With

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #1976/01 2920752
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 190752Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3905
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 1967
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1218
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 001976

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2019
TAGS: EFIN KN PTER ECON PGOV EG
SUBJECT: TREASURY DAS DANIEL GLASER,S MEETINGS WITH
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE CENTRAL BANK

Classified By: MINISTER COUNSELOR DONALD A. BLOME REASONS: 1.4 (B) and (D)
1.(SBU) Key points: --Egyptian officials are unsure how funds destined for Hamas enter Egypt. --The GOE is unhappy that the United Nations delisted Youssef Mustapha Nada from its UNSCR 1267 consolidated list of individuals or entities associated with Al-Qaida or the Taliban. --At the request of the Palestinian Authority, the Egyptian Central Bank instructed all Egyptian banks to avoid doing business with the Hamas-affiliated National Islamic Bank on August 26, 2009.

2.(U) Treasury DAS Glaser met with Assistant Foreign Minister Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Ashraf Mohsen and Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez on October 4 to discuss a broad range of terrorist financing and anti-money laundering issues in Egypt. ---------------------------------------- Terrorist Financing in and through Egypt ----------------------------------------

3.(C) Mohsen asserted that he was not well briefed on the issues of funds destined for Hamas passing from Egypt into Gaza via tunnels. He surmised that money coming into Egypt destined for Hamas probably came via cash couriers, Arab tourists, and diplomats whose bags are not subject to search by customs officials. Mohsen stated that the GOE had no intention of creating a terrorist list of its own. He pointed out that, if the GOE proscribed Hamas domestically, no Egyptian official would be able to meet with Hamas about the peace process with Israel. Mohsen also worried that listing Hezbollah would "legitimize" the organization and boost its prominence in Egypt.

4.(C) DAS Daniel Glaser requested information on Abdel Moneim Abdel-Fotouh and several other Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members arrested for &conspiring with foreign organizations8 and money laundering. Mohsen said the GOE could not share any information on the case until their court trial was over. According to Mohsen, the prosecutor general has yet to file the case. ------------------------------ GOE Upset about Nada Delisting ------------------------------

5.(C) Mohsen indicated that his government was unhappy with the United Nations 1267 Committee,s removal of Youssef Mustapha Nada from its UNSCR 1267 consolidated list of individuals or entities associated with Al-Qaida or the Taliban. Mohsen referred to Nada as the Muslim Brotherhood,s most important financier and that the MB sees Nada,s delisting as a symbolic victory. Hinting at U.S. complicity in the 1267 Committee,s decision to delist Nada, Mohsen said he saw contradiction between Nada,s delisting and the USG,s request to discuss Hamas with the GOE. --------------------------------------------- ------------- Central Bank Diligent in Monitoring Financial Transactions --------------------------------------------- -------------

6.(C) DAS Glaser also met with Deputy Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez to discuss safeguards against terrorist financing and other anti-money laundering issues. When queried about funding for Hamas that transited Egypt, Ramez guessed that such funding probably came via wire transfers. (COMMENT: Neither Mohsen nor Ramez seemed to have a good handle on the issue of funding for Hamas that transited Egypt. END COMMENT.) On North Korea, Ramez stated that North Korean financial activity was not a big issue in Egypt. Besides, he added, the Central Bank exercised a hands-on approach to monitoring risks to Egyptian financial institutions. For example, the Central Bank examines every foreign exchange transaction in the Egyptian banking system on an hourly basis to maintain stable exchange rates as well as detecting possible links to money laundering or terrorist financing.

7.(C) DAS Glaser asked whether the Egyptian Central Bank received a letter from Jihad al-Wazir, Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, requesting that all Central Banks in the region not allow the Hamas-affiliated National Islamic Bank access to financial institutions in their jurisdictions. Ramez acknowledged the letter and stated that the Central Bank on August 26, 2009, instructed all Egyptian banks to avoid doing business with the National Islamic Bank.

8.(U) The Department of Treasury cleared on this cable. Scobey.

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