Bank of China Denies Terrorist Ties

By Zuo Maohong
Published: 2008-08-27

Bank of China (BOC) has denied accusations contained in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, United States, that it transferred millions of dollars to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups.

The bank would clear its name through legal means and prepare to fight the suit, and reserve the rights to counter sue, said BOC spokesperson Wang Zhaowen in a statement published on its website on Wednesday (August 27).

Wang also reacted to recent foreign media reports about the suit, calling allegations associating the bank with terrorists as groundless. He added BOC had always adhered strictly to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism policies and regulations.

Wang said the bank believed that the US judicial system would treat the case justly and fairly, and that the truth would prevail.

The foreign reports Wang referred to including one from the Wall Street Journal, which reported on August 23 that over 100 victims of terrorism in Israel had filed a civil case in Los Angeles Superior Court against Bank of China on August 21.

The plaintiffs alleged that the money was transferred for the militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Iran and Syria, and processed through BOC's branches in the U.S, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A copy of the complaint filed at the court was attached in a similar report by marketwatch, a member of Wall Street Journal digital network.

The complaint note alleged that the BOC had intentionally provided extensive banking services to the PIJ and Hamas between 2004 and 2007, and "enabled and facilitated the terrorist attacks in which the plaintiffs and their decedents were harmed and killed".

The plaintiffs demanded for judgement against BOC to cover damages for loss of earnings, financial support, related medical expenses, punitive damages, and interest by law, amongst others.