The organisation involved in the Paradise Papers leak allegedly represented a bank accused of funding terrorism, report says

Matt Cardy/Getty ImagesThe offices of Bermuda-based law firm Appleby are pictured on November 8, 2017 in Douglas, Isle of Man.

  • Appleby, the firm at the center of last year’s massive Paradise Papers leak, allegedly provided services to a bank accused of facilitating global terror and crime, according to a Guardian report.
  • Appleby had represented the Federal Bank of the Middle East (FBME) since 2004, the report said.
  • FBME was described as “a financial institution of primary money laundering concern” according to US federal court documents filed in October 2017.
  • The bank denies the allegations.

Appleby, the firm at the center of last year’s massive Paradise Papers leak allegedly provided services to a bank accused of facilitating global terror and crime, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Appleby had allegedly represented the international Federal Bank of the Middle East (FBME) since 2004, according to the report.

The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) leveled several major allegations against FBME, calling it a “primary money laundering concern,” according to US federal court documents filed in October 2017.

A 2014 note published by FinCEN in the US Federal Register went further in its description of FBME’s alleged activities:

“FBME is used by its customers to facilitate money laundering, terrorist financing, transnational organised crime, fraud, sanctions evasion and other illicit activity internationally and through the US financial system,” the note said.

Additionally, the 2014 note alleged that at least one of FBME’s customers was a front-company for the group, Scientific Studies and Research Center, an entity that was sanctioned by the US and was determined to be a “proliferator of weapons of mass destruction,” according to the note.

FBME has vehemently denied the allegations. A spokesperson for the institution said: “The outrageous claims that FBME acted for terrorists, or knowingly acted for any sanctioned individuals, are false and deliberately damaging.”

“Any client that was sanctioned had their accounts frozen immediately and were reported to the regulator,” the bank said.

Appleby ended its relationship with FBME in 2015, according to federal court documents.

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