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US imposes sanctions on Iraqi money services business Afaq Dubai

The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on Iraq-based money services business Afaq Dubai, saying the company has been moving funds for the Islamic State militant group.

The Treasury added Afaq Dubai to its list of specially designated global terrorists "for assisting in, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technical support" for Islamic State, the department said Oct. 17.

Afaq Dubai is part of the militant group's network "of money services businesses, hawalas and financial facilitators funding terrorism across the Middle East," Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said.

The Treasury is targeting the network together with the U.S. Department of Defense to cut off Islamic State's ability to move illicit funds and launder money.

Afaq Dubai has no branches in the United Arab Emirates, despite its name, the Treasury noted, adding that company is run by two Islamic State financiers and as of early 2018 was laundering money for the group and providing funds for families in the group.

The move followed an Oct. 11 decision by the Department of Defense against a key financial facilitation group supporting Islamic State.