Egypt: Hamas caught smuggling money

Two officials in group tried hiding nearly $1 m. in tin cans on way back from reconciliation talks in Cairo.

By
March 17, 2009 22:22
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Two Hamas officials returning from Egypt were caught trying to cross the Gaza border Tuesday with nearly $850,000 stuffed into candy tins, an Egyptian security official said. Gaza's Hamas rulers are dependent on the smuggling of cash and goods to keep their government afloat because the coastal territory has been subject to an embargo since the Islamic group took control there in June 2007. The two Hamas members were in Egypt with a delegation taking part in reconciliation talks with rival Palestinian factions. The talks being mediated by Egypt have so far failed to produce an agreement on the formation of a unity government that would include Hamas and the more moderate Fatah movement that it ousted from Gaza. In response to the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Israel and Egypt have kept the territory's borders sealed to all but a trickle of aid and supplies, forcing Hamas to smuggle cash across the border. The Hamas officials stopped Tuesday were traveling in a bus carrying members of different Palestinian factions involved in the reconciliation talks. A search of the bus at the border turned up the tins of sweets stuffed with €454,000 and $260,000 in cash instead of candy, said an Egyptian security official. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Under Egyptian law, it is illegal to leave the country with more than $10,000 in cash. Authorities also confiscated two generators, a night vision scope and mobile phones, the official said. Hamas will be allowed to deposit the money into an account in Egypt, but likely won't be able to access the funds from Gaza. Arab banks have generally refused to transfer money to Gaza for fear of running afoul of the United States, which considers Hamas a terrorist organization. The two men stopped Tuesday were not arrested and denied knowing what was in the candy tins, saying they were just told to carry the goods into Gaza by Hamas leaders in Egypt, the official said. There was no immediate comment from Hamas. In February, Hamas members were caught with suitcases containing $9 million and €2 million in cash.

Related Content

A general view shows the town of Khorog, Tajikistan
August 16, 2018
Young couple trying to prove human kindness among cyclists killed by ISIS

By JULIANE HELMHOLD