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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04RIYADH5103 2004-09-27 08:57:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Riyadh
Cable title:  

TERRORIST FINANCING: AL-RAJHI BANK

Tags:   ETTC EFIN PTER PREL SA 
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O 270857Z SEP 04
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0922
					  S E C R E T RIYADH 005103 

NOFORN

EB/ESC/TFS FOR EGOFF
TREASURY FOR JZARATE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2014
TAGS: ETTC EFIN PTER PREL SA
SUBJECT: TERRORIST FINANCING: AL-RAJHI BANK

Classified By: ECON CONS D. H. RUNDELL, REASONS 1.4 (B) and (D)



1. (S) SUMMARY: At the end of the meeting between Treasury
A/S Zarate and Ali Al-Gaith, Director of Banking Inspection,
Insurance and Financial Leasing at the Saudi Arabian Monetary
Agency (SAMA) on September 15, Al-Gaith discussed Al-Rajhi
Bank and the recent information forwarded to the SAG via July
5 letters from the Ambassador. Al-Gaith argued against
Al-Rajhi being involved in terrorism. END SUMMARY.



2. (S) Al-Gaith took exception to the details regarding
suspect accounts and said that he had seen no hard evidence
linking Al-Rajhi or individuals who have accounts or work at
the bank with Al-Qaida or terrorism. He noted that the
investigation into Al-Rajhi had started in 1989. The suspect
activity is an "after-the-fact" revelation for Al-Gaith, that
is after terrorists are identified. For him, no complicity
on the bank's part has been proven.



3. (S) In August, 2003, Al-Rajhi had a full scope
examination done by Ernst & Young. The report did not
indicate any wrong doings. A/S Zarate requested a copy of
the report. Al-Gaith said he would share the findings of the
examination.



4. (S) Relying on news reports regarding the Al-Rajhi
family is not a basis, according to Al-Gaith, for making
claims concerning the bank. Al-Gaith defended the banks past
practices such as freezing Usama bin Laden's accounts in 1994.



5. (S) Zarate noted that the United States Government (USG)
has real concerns about the financial activities facilitated
by Al-Rajhi and that these concerns were not an indictment
against the SAG. Rather, the issue is of common concern and
needs to be addressed. The USG and SAG need to be assured
that Al-Rajhi is doing everything possible regarding
compliance and cooperation. Particular accounts of concern
need to be investigated and the bank's compliance structure
needs to be reviewed. Al-Gaith said that information on
suspect accounts would be shared.



6. (S) Al-Gaith pointed out that the MOI information
originated with SAMA. He said that SAMA would look at
specific accounts if the USG provided information. Zarate
said he would follow up on the offer to provide specific
accounts.



7. (S) COMMENT: Al-Gaith did not appear to support a close
relationship with the United States Government (USG)
throughout the meeting (reftel). At the beginning of the
conversation, Al-Gaith said that he was "fed up" with the
USG's allegations and that none of them were substantiated.

END COMMENT.

OBERWETTER