Minn. hawala to re-open with small money transfers

By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A money transfer business that sends remittances from Minnesota to Somalia says it will re-open Friday to allow transfers in small dollar amounts.

Garad Nor is head of Tawakal Money Express. He says he’ll re-open at 5 p.m. Friday and allow transfers in amounts up to $500 – for emergencies only.

Fifteen Minnesota hawalas stopped accepting wire transfers to Somalia last week because the bank that handled most of the transactions closed their accounts. The bank feared it was at risk of violating rules designed to clamp down on terror financing.

Nor says customers have been begging him to re-open so they can help relatives in the Horn of Africa.

Nor says he has accounts with banks in other states, and will be able to send the money.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)