Infobank, Accused of Laundering Hussein Money, Changes Name 17:04, 02/02/2005
The Belarusian bank Infobank, accused of money-laundering for the regime of Saddam Hussein by The U.S. Treasury Department, has decided to change its name. Now the provisional application is considered by the National bank of Belarus. On a national scale of Belarus Infobank is an average-sized private bank, but it is considered to be close to the Belarusian authorities, and many transactions with the Arab world are carried out by it.
In August last year the U.S. Treasury Department stated that sanctions against Infobank are possible for money-laundering allegations related to Hussein regime’s machinations with the UN oil-for-food program. Later Infobank was included to the reports of the CIA and US State Department in connection with illegal arms trade with Iraq. The American authorities openly warned about possible closing of correspondent accounts of the bank and other sanctions.
Now the National bank of Belarus has received an application for a new name. Infobank and the National bank are refusing to disclose the new name still. Unofficially the variant “Trustbank” is named. After the preliminary approval if this name is not used in other countries, the owners of Infobank are to submit documents for registration by the National bank administration and to wait for re-registration of the statute and licence. The Infobank representatives refuse to name the reasons of renaming.
The former head of the National bank Stanislau Bahdankevich thinks that the well-known brand costs a lot, that is why the renaming is done on extraordinary occasions.
“The aim is that the corresponded accounts all over the world will be opened by a new bank, not stained by anything, including the suspicions of the USA,” Stanislau Bahdankevich told to Radio Svaboda.
Stanislau Bahdankevich is positive that the problem lies in a bad international reputation of Infobank.