I’d hate to be the clerk who has to call al-Baghdadi when he has a margin call.
Isil is making millions of dollars for its war chest by playing foreign currency markets under the noses of bank chiefs, it was revealed today.
The terror group is earning up to $20m (£14.29m) a month by funnelling dollars looted from banks during its takeover of the Iraqi city of Mosul into legitimate currency markets in the Middle East.
It then makes huge returns on currency speculation, which are then wired back via unsuspecting financial authorities in Iraq and Jordan, a parliamentary committee was told on Wednesday.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (Isil) extraordinary venture into white collar crime is now a major source of income, along with oil smuggling and extortion from people living in Isil-controlled areas.
Details of the scam emerged during a hearing of a specially-convened Foreign Affairs sub-committee set up to examine Britain’s role in Isil financing.
The hearing was told that Isil finance chiefs would play the international stock markets using cash looted during their 2014 take over of Mosul, in which the group got its hands on an estimated $429m from the city’s central bank.
They also used money “siphoned off” from pension payments that are still being made by the Iraqi government to civil servants living in the city.