Somalia-Bound Cash Declarations Doubled Following U.S. Account Closures, Says ICE Official

By Kira Zalan

Money remittance firms serving U.S.-based Somalis have more than doubled their monthly cash declarations at border crossings since last spring, according to data provided by an American official. The jump closely aligns with a decision in February by Merchants Bank of California to drop its accounts for money services businesses linked to Somalia, said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official. The bank was at the time the largest financial conduits for Somali expatriates in the United States to send money to the Eastern African nation. Prior to the closure, couriers working for the MSBs declared several millions of dollars...