France probes Arafat wife mystery cash

11th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French prosecutors last year opened a preliminary investigation into the transfer of a large sum money of undetermined origin to the Paris bank accounts held by the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, judicial officials said Tuesday.

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French prosecutors last year opened a preliminary investigation into the transfer of a large sum money of undetermined origin to the Paris bank accounts held by the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, judicial officials said Tuesday.

The satirical weekly Canard Enchaine meanwhile reported in its latest edition that the probe sought to determine the source of EUR 9 million (USD 11.4 million) reportedly transferred to the bank accounts of Soha Arafat, who lives in Paris.

The investigation was launched after the Bank of France in late September reported sizable bank transfers from Switzerland to two Parisian accounts of Soha Arafat at the Arab Bank and Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) between July 2002 and July 2003.

Shortly after the alert by the French central bank, Paris prosecutors received similar notification of these transfers from a special finance ministry taskforce set up to combat money laundering.

Last month, the European anti-fraud agency said it had sent a team to Jerusalem as part of an investigation into possible embezzlement of EU funds paid to the Palestinian Authority.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

 

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