Tanzania revokes FBME bank licence over money laundering

Tuesday May 9 2017

FBME bank is accused of large-scale money laundering. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN

FBME bank is accused of large-scale money laundering. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN 

By AGENCIES

Tanzania’s central bank has revoked the banking licence for troubled international lender FBME and placed it under liquidation after it was accused of money laundering.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) appointed the Deposit Insurance Board as the liquidator and appealed to FBME’s clients to be patient as the Board puts in place a compensation plan.

"The liquidator shall, in due course, inform depositors, creditors and debtors on pay out plan, debt collection and other similar arrangements in line with the provisions of the law," said BoT said in a statement on Monday.

In 2014, the US government accused the Dar es Salaam-headquartered FBME of large-scale money laundering, sparking a protracted legal battle between the two parties.

On March 25, 2016, the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued its final ruling, confirming FBME as an institution of "primary money laundering concern."

On April 14, this year, a US court in Washington ruled in favour of FinCEN. The ruling put FBME out of business.

FBME said it would appeal the decision of the US court to uphold a ban on its operations in the country.

FBME is said to have been conducting most of its business in Cyprus. It also maintains a representative office in Moscow and is reportedly owned by two Lebanese brothers.