Kuwaiti deposits in Iran … in the wind

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It seems that the coming days may reveal the real size of the deposits of Kuwaitis in Iran, which are conducted informally for very high benefits, in light of the escalation of demonstrations in the Islamic Republic and the significant decline in the price of the official currency (Altuman), and heart bankrupt a number of banks there, caused the loss of deposits of many Iranians themselves.

With the absence of official statistics on the number and size of depositors from Kuwait (citizens, residents and possibly companies) in Iranian banks, an expert in the fight against money laundering of al-Qabas confirms that hundreds of millions.

Sources noted that the pace of informal deposits has increased in recent years with the interest rate reaching 22% compared to much lower levels in Kuwait, which made it a warning of a disaster about to explode.

She pointed out that the Kuwaiti deposits are through a “hotline” that starts in Kuwait through local money exchangers and institutions (subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry), which is supposed to be limited to the sale and purchase of currencies and ends on the opposite shore of the Gulf, Iranian, as well as some businessmen from Iranian importers and exporters who need the dollar in their foreign dealings.

The sources pointed out that there is an alternative corridor of deposits starting from the same authorities in Kuwait, exchange institutions to some Iranian banks with branches in one of the Gulf countries, which collects these deposits for the benefit of beneficiaries in Iran, under the ban on financial institutions in Iran, which Continued despite the lifting of sanctions after the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015.

She pointed out that even if there are contracts between the applicant and the banks in Iran or their intermediaries from the exchange institutions in Kuwait, they are not recognized, since those contracts “Even if the Iranian government compensates Iranian citizens for their lost deposits for domestic reasons, foreigners, including Kuwaiti depositors, will not be able to compensate for anything,” he said.

The official warned of the practices of the Kuwaiti exchange institutions in violation of the activities licensed to them from the sale and purchase of currencies, pointing out that the control of the Ministry of Trade on these institutions are limited to the scope of licenses and follow-up financial statements. The Central Bank and his division more accurate and close to the exchange companies under his control.

He pointed to the role of some money exchange institutions in transactions outside the borders and made Kuwait a party to them through remittances to their countries, the latest being the black market in the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound, when some exchange institutions caused the conversion of currencies outside the banking system .

He called on the Ministry of Commerce to tighten its control over exchange “shops” and to prevent them from making remittances contrary to the rules and assets, and contrary to the activities allowed to carry out, warning that such operations may be accompanied by money laundering and financing terrorism, and therefore it is worth a vigil.