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 Treasury Targets Money Exchange House Operator for Supporting the Taliban


2/26/2013

  

Action Targets Financing Linked to a Designated Hawala and the Taliban Narcotics Trade

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Mullah Ahmed Shah Noorzai (Ahmed Shah) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and their supporters. Ahmed Shah owns and operates the UN-designated Roshan Money Exchange (RMX), which was previously designated in June 2012 pursuant to E.O. 13224 for providing financial services to the Taliban. RMX stores and transfers funds and profits in support of Taliban military operations as well as the Taliban's role in the Afghan narcotics trade.   As of 2011, RMX was one of the primary hawalas, or money exchange houses, used by Taliban members to support their narcotics operations based in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Today, the United Nations also added Ahmed Shah to its 1988 List of individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban which constitute a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan.

 

“We will continue to target financial activity linked to the Taliban as they increasingly turn to exchange houses to fund their continued violence,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “These financial networks are instrumental in funneling money for terrorist operations and they are also deeply involved in managing the illicit revenues of the Taliban’s vast narcotics trade.”

 

Ahmed Shah has provided hawala services to Taliban leaders in Helmand Province for a number of years and, as of 2011, was a trusted Taliban hawaladar (hawala operator). In early 2012, the Taliban ordered Ahmed Shah to transfer money to a number of hawalas in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, from which a senior Taliban commander would then allocate the funds.

 

In late 2011, Ahmed Shah consolidated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pass to the Taliban Finance Commission and transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Taliban, including to senior Taliban commanders. Also in late 2011, Ahmed Shah received through his hawala branch in Quetta a transfer on behalf of the Taliban, money from which was used to purchase fertilizer and IED components, including batteries and detonator cord.

 

In mid-2011, the head of the Taliban finance commission, Gul Agha, who was designated in July 2010 for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban, instructed Ahmed Shah to deposit several million dollars into his hawala for the Taliban. Gul Agha explained that when a money transfer was required, he would inform Ahmed Shah of the Taliban recipient. Ahmed Shah would then provide the required funds through his hawala system. As of mid-2010, Ahmed Shah moved money between Pakistan and Afghanistan for Taliban commanders and for narcotics traffickers. In addition to his facilitation activities, Ahmed Shah also donated large but unspecified sums of money to the Taliban in 2011.

 

Identifying Information

 

Name: Mullah Ahmed Shah Noorzai

AKA: Haji Ahmad Shah

AKA: Haji Mullah Ahmad Shah

AKA

: Maulawi Ahmed Shah

AKA: Mullah Mohammed Shah

DOB: 1 January 1985

Alt. DOB: 1981

POB: Quetta, Pakistan

National Identity Number: 5440122880259 (Pakistan)

Passport: NC5140251 (Pakistan)

Passport Date of Issue: 23 October 2009

Passport Date of Expiry: 22 October 2014

Residence: Quetta, Pakistan

 

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