The U.S Treasury Department has formally removed Al Barakat Group of Companies, a remittance company owned by a Somali from its sanctions list close to two decades after it froze the company’s assets subjecting thousands of Somalia into suffering as they could not access their money held by the company.
The Treasury Department announced Wednesday the delisting of 40 entities in Somalia and the United Arab Emirates affiliated to Al Barakat Group.
The delisting of Al Barakat marks the end of a long running case which began at the turn of the millennium when the then George Bush administration accused the company of financing then Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.
The owner of Al Barakat, Ahmed Nur Ali Jim’ale was removed from the list by the U.S in 2016 four years after he and his companies were delisted from the U.N. al-Qaida sanctions list.
At the time of the listing in November 2011, the Bush administration argued it had established Al Barakat was funding Bin Laden to the tune of $25 million annually in weapons, cash and other support.
Al Barakat operated over 180 offices in 40 countries at the time of the listing in 2001.
The listing of Al Barakat left thousands of Somalis both in the country and abroad unable to collect their money from the company.
A senior American official quoted by the New York Times in 2002 said, ‘We needed to designate now and sort it out later.”
A U.S lobbying firm, Park Strategies LLC last month settled allegations of providing services to Al Barakat in 2017 by paying a fine of $12,150.