Customs agent release $11m after clearance from CBB

The Acting General Director of Anti-corruption, Economic and Electronic Security on Sunday said the circumstances surrounding the entry of $11 million to Bahrain. He stated that the Central Bank of Bahrain received a letter on 19 June 2012 from the US Government requesting the entry of the money in order to pay the salaries of US servicemen stationed in Bahrain and other locations in the Gulf.

The CBB acts as the financial regulator in Bahrain and it was in this role that it coordinated efforts with the Foreign Ministry to begin processing the request. Typically, such amounts enter Bahrain through an authorized money exchange office. On 12 July 2012, the American Embassy still had not received approval for the entry of the money. Embassy officials contacted the Foreign Ministry to notify them that the money was scheduled to arrive on a military airplane that was to land in an allocated military zone at the Bahrain International Airport. When the carriers of the money arrived they notified customs officials that they were carrying $11 million.

The customs officials asked them to provide all of the documents and identifications related to the transfer. The money was held by the customs agents until entry approval was obtained by the Foreign Ministry. Once approval was received and all proper procedures had been followed, the money was released to the carriers.

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