US Treasury urges banks to monitor Egypt transactions


The US Treasury Department advised American financial institutions to closely monitor transactions related to Egypt for any possible signs that state assets were being misappropriated.

The advisory, issued by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said banks should apply enhanced scrutiny to private banking accounts involving “foreign political figures.”

It also advised institutions to “monitor transactions that could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets, proceeds of bribery or other illegal payments, or other public corruption proceeds.”

The advisory did not name former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak or any other Egyptian government officials forced from power last week, Reuters reports.

Egypt on Monday asked the United States, Britain and France to freeze assets of former senior Egyptian officials, including Mubarak, who are suspected of sending billions of dollars of assets abroad.

The advisory said financial institutions are normally required to file a suspicious activity report if they have reason to suspect a transaction relating to senior foreign political figures involves funds from illicit activity, if the transaction appears to have no business or lawful purpose, or if it shows signs of money laundering or terrorist financing.