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Frozen bank accounts.



Hi - Colin was asking about frozen bank accounts. I am out of date with the
legal aspect but know a bit about the personal in the UK. The norm is that
if someone comes from Iraq, say for medical treament, they can draw on the
account for legitimate expenses. The 'catch 22' is that they must present
the bills and take them to the bank. To have the bill means usually that you
have already made the purchase - but the money is frozen in the bank. Even
having navigated this by a loan from a friend, say, I know of cases where
banks have chastised the account holder for expenses as being unnecessary.
One formerly wealthy man was reduced nearly to tears at having to beg for
his money to pay his bills.

Also, throughout Iraq, prfessionals, now living in desparate circumstances,
say to one sadly`I still have (x hundreds, or sometimes thousands ) of 's
in' such and such a bank in the UK. Money which could mean the difference of
life and death often for they and their dependents.

Another ongoing tragedy is that moneys seem not to be able to be
transferred. It is only by going into the bank in the uk that it can be
drawn (with receipts.) So often people borrow or sell to get to Jordan,
thinking they can go into a bank there and get a tranfer from their bank in
the UK, and then take it back to Iraq, as would be the case in the real
world. They can't.

Can this be legal? It also, it would seem sets a precedence as is happening
now re Afghanistan with people and organisations simply finding their moneys
frozen without even a court order.

Another often forgotten aspect is the huge amount of Iraqi students and post
graduate students who were here at the outbreak of the ``Gulf war, whose
fees and expenses, lodgings etc were paid by the Iraqi government. They were
literally stranded with all moneys cut off, unable to stay or go.
And by the way, the reason an Iraqi vosa has to be paid for in cash in that
even the Embassy is not allowed a bank account. An Embassy, without a bank
account??? Even in the second world war German official bodies were allowed
accounts in the UK.

But the bottom line is yet again, this is targetting the powerless. Colin, I
too have tried to talk to the Bank of England re this, over and over - it's
like swimming in treacle.

Best, felicity a.




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