In recent years, international law enforcement agencies have uncovered various mechanisms that facilitate the movement of money in support of terrorism. The hawala network, translated from Arabic to mean ‘transfer’ or ‘trust’, is a commonly used conduit.
Hawala has been linked to a number of terrorist organisations, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State, and has often been used in place of modern online banking systems, with an estimated £258.9 billion passing through the network every year. The hawala system can be described as an informal way of transferring money across borders, and flourishes in many regions of the Middle East and South Asia, which tend to have relatively under-developed and less formalized banking structures. It is also used where large communities of diaspora populations live, accounting for an estimated $500 billion in global remittances.
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