2018/02/16 – A Tunisian parliamentary bloc called for holding Tunisian defense minister accountable for the issue of financial transfers attributed to a retired Qatari officer.
The case against Abdel Karim al-Zubaidi also involves opening an account in a bank branch in Tataouine in 2014, and the use of these suspicious funds by several associations and personalities accused of supporting terrorism.
In this regard, Sahbi Ben Faraj, the leader of the Tunisian Project Movement parliamentary bloc, said that accountability will revolve around the identity of the associations benefiting from these funds and the history of remittances, stressing that the bank account contained money that came from an account in the name of the Qatari armed forces, which is part of a bank account in the name of the Embassy of Qatar in Tunisia.
The suspicious funds were estimated at around 4.5 million Tunisian dinars (about 1.8 million dollars). The Financial Analysis Committee has identified a major suspicious transaction that included military personnel who have benefited from these sums.
The case dates back to 2014, when the competent authority at the Ministry of Defense questioned the Qatari general, and the whole file was referred to the military judiciary. The relevant bank accounts were suspended based on an order by the magistrate of the judicial court on July 24, 2015. The frozen amount was estimated at around 3 million Tunisian dinars (about 1.2 million dollars), but in return, the identity of the parties involved with the retired Qatari general has not been disclosed.
On a different note, the governor of Tunisia’s central bank announced his resignation on Wednesday night, a week after the European Parliament put the North African country on a list of non-EU nations believed to pose a risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Source: ASHRAQ A–AWSAT/Image: Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, by Reuters