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Tanzania revokes FBME bank's licence over money-laundering probe
May 8, 2017 / 8:46 AM / 7 months ago

Tanzania revokes FBME bank's licence over money-laundering probe

DAR ES SALAAM, May 8 (Reuters) - Tanzania’s central bank said on Monday it revoked the business licence of FBME Bank and placed it under liquidation after it was accused by the U.S. government of large-scale money laundering.

The central bank took over the management of FBME Bank in July 2014 following a report from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) describing the bank as a “primary money laundering concern.”

The Tanzanian-registered bank mounted a legal challenge against the allegations, but a U.S. court ruled in favour of FinCEN in April, allowing it to shut the bank out of accessing the U.S. financial system.

The decision also paved the way for the central bank to revoke the bank’s license, officials said.

“The Bank of Tanzania has discontinued all banking operations of FBME Bank Ltd, revoked its banking business license and placed it under liquidation,” the central bank said in a statement.

It said it had appointed the Deposit Insurance Board as a liquidator.

FBME, which according to its website specialises in cross-border transactions, commercial trading and foreign exchange services, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

FBME Bank is registered in the East African country but has been conducting most of its business operations elsewhere, notably in Cyprus. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng‘wanakila; editing by John Stonestreet)

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