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  Reply # 1241185 17-Feb-2015 23:24
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kendog:
Geektastic: Also, it's not as if, when you go into the international transfer section of the website, it says "Warning! Danger, Will Robinson! Do not send money to X,Y or Z". The ordinary man on the Clapham Omnibus usually is not aware that this week someone has decided we cannot send money to this particular list of places.

If I was actually trying to send money to Myanmar, then fair enough. However I wasn't...! 

This is up there with the US company that wouldn't send me a flashlight 'because it contravenes the ITAR treaty". WTF - it's a small torch, not a rocket launcher!!

Try sending money to Afghanistan on a bank website, of course it won't let you.
Try sending money to the USA with Islamic State in your description. It will let you set that transaction up but you will be contacted about it, just like your payment.



Why would I want to send money to Afghanistan, a well known war zone?! Myanmar, on the other hand, is a quiet Buddhist country mostly full of monks and temples that happens to have a paramilitary government most people will never see....

The Cambodian government is as bent as a nine bob note and nobody wants to stop you sending money there.





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  Reply # 1241198 18-Feb-2015 00:09
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Geektastic: So, I am headed to SE Asia later this year and part of the trip is an organised tour in Myanmar/Burma because it's just easier to do that there than go independent.

The tour operator is a specialist firm based in California. So I set out to pay the deposit of $1200 USD by using the foreign transfers part of ASB's Fastnet system. So far, so good.

A couple of days later my wife gets a call that goes something like this:

"Hello, ASB here. We need to talk to you about the money you are trying to send to Myanmar. There is a ban on transfers to Myanmar."

"We aren't sending any money to Myanmar. We're sending money to a company in the USA to pay for a tour that takes place in Myanmar. You can see that from the SWIFT codes my husband used - they are for Wells Fargo in San Francisco."

"But it says Myanmar on the legend."

"It says 'Deposit for Myanmar tour'"

"Oh. Well, we'll be in touch if we need any more information."

Yesterday, an email arrives as follows:

"We understand the payment is going to the US but because it involves Myanmar indirectly, we are still required to get an approval to release the payment. There is blanket ban on payments involving Myanmar at the moment. Would it be possible to get a copy of the invoice please so we can attach it to our approval request form?  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us."


So apparently banks can now decide where I travel to. I rang them and told them to cancel the transfer and refund the money. They did so. So today I redid the transfer to the same recipient but ensured I omitted the word Myanmar.

What's the betting it goes through just fine....?!

Honestly - I have never heard of anything so stupid.


Not the banks fault.

It's all down to government and international regulation, mainly to do with money laundering and anti-terrorism laws.

http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/aml-cft/global-anti-money-laundering-and-countering-financing-of-terrorism-initiatives

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1241211 18-Feb-2015 00:51
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As stated a few times by multiple people it's to do with AML and Anti-Terror laws, if banks process these payments they will face severe penalties in doing so.

You seem to know nothing about Myanmar if you think it was a quiet buddhist country, if it was then there would have been no economic sanctions placed on them in the first place. In saying that I believe various economic sanctions were lifted by the US in ~2012 but banks still err on the side of caution.

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  Reply # 1241258 18-Feb-2015 08:39
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Geektastic: Why would I want to send money to Afghanistan, a well known war zone?! Myanmar, on the other hand, is a quiet Buddhist country mostly full of monks and temples that happens to have a paramilitary government most people will never see....


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/17/us-myanmar-clashes-idUSKBN0LL11S20150217

yes and no

you are making a mountain over a mole hill, yes if you had omitted the Myanmar bit it probably would have gone through straight away but they need to investigate anything related to it because there are some really stupid terrorists/backers out there

mdf

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  Reply # 1241337 18-Feb-2015 10:04
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Blanket restrictions on countries are usually to do with United Nations Sanctions under the United Nations Act 1946. You can see examples on legislation.govt.nz. Interestingly (despite some talk about this a few years back), apparently New Zealand has never imposed sanctions on Myanmar.

I would imagine that if you asked, the bank would indeed point to AML/CFT requirements as the basis for their particular query. They are obliged to report "suspicious transactions". Whatever algorithm they use probably flagged "Myanmar" as being suspicious. So it wasn't actually a restriction of transactions to Myanmar per se, rather a generic "suspicious" transaction.



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  Reply # 1241358 18-Feb-2015 10:19
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mdf: Blanket restrictions on countries are usually to do with United Nations Sanctions under the United Nations Act 1946. You can see examples on legislation.govt.nz. Interestingly (despite some talk about this a few years back), apparently New Zealand has never imposed sanctions on Myanmar.

I would imagine that if you asked, the bank would indeed point to AML/CFT requirements as the basis for their particular query. They are obliged to report "suspicious transactions". Whatever algorithm they use probably flagged "Myanmar" as being suspicious. So it wasn't actually a restriction of transactions to Myanmar per se, rather a generic "suspicious" transaction.


The U.S. also lifted sanctions 2 years ago apparently.





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  Reply # 1241363 18-Feb-2015 10:24
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Truly Kafkaesque.




iPad Air + iPhone SE + 2degrees 4tw!

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


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  Reply # 1244052 22-Feb-2015 10:53
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SaltyNZ: The point is that you, an innocent person, got sucked into a mess because you inadvertently tripped a government enforced anti-crime/terrorism/whatever rule that a tired/stupid/uncaring/just-wants-to-do-their-job-and-go-home person decided to follow, even though to do so was obviously (to you) unnecessary. You seem OK with such things on general principle. But this time, they applied to you. This is precisely why I am very cautious at giving anyone more power to watch everything I do. It doesn't really work - what crime has just been prevented? - and the consequences to you can be far more serious than mere slight inconvenience.

So very well put. It saddens me when I hear statements along the lines of "well anything for security", "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear". The OP's experience is an example of exactly why that thinking is wrong, and where it can lead.

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  Reply # 1244072 22-Feb-2015 11:49
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PenultimateHop: So very well put. It saddens me when I hear statements along the lines of "well anything for security", "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear". The OP's experience is an example of exactly why that thinking is wrong, and where it can lead.

This particular [exceptionally minor] issue has nothing to do with any of the style of quotes you've just posted. If you take time to not only read through some of the links posted and look at the reasoning in an international sense you might actually start to understand what's going on here - it's got absolutely nothing to do with conspiracies or Government shenanigans. Apart from yet another whinge thread on Geekzone, where exactly has this led?

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  Reply # 1244120 22-Feb-2015 13:54
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Dratsab: 
This particular [exceptionally minor] issue has nothing to do with any of the style of quotes you've just posted. If you take time to not only read through some of the links posted and look at the reasoning in an international sense you might actually start to understand what's going on here - it's got absolutely nothing to do with conspiracies or Government shenanigans. Apart from yet another whinge thread on Geekzone, where exactly has this led?

I disagree - they tend to be related. There were significant changes to the way banks must act in a number of countries, passed under the guise of terrorism. They have impacted me*; and the same rules often flow on to requirements like this (approval must be sought for money transfers relating to Myanmar).

It's not the government's place to restrict my ability to move money; nor is it reasonable for them to assert a guilty-until-proven innocent stance on it. This is why I - and evidently others - relate the statements around "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" to issues like this.

* I can't open, change (e.g. add a family member), etc credit card accounts I have in Australia because I don't live there (due to career related mobility) at the moment. How this even supposedly restricts "money laundering in support of terrorists" I do not know, but it impacts me and many other Australian ex-pats.

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  Reply # 1244316 22-Feb-2015 18:59
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PenultimateHop:
Dratsab: 
This particular [exceptionally minor] issue has nothing to do with any of the style of quotes you've just posted. If you take time to not only read through some of the links posted and look at the reasoning in an international sense you might actually start to understand what's going on here - it's got absolutely nothing to do with conspiracies or Government shenanigans. Apart from yet another whinge thread on Geekzone, where exactly has this led?

I disagree - they tend to be related. There were significant changes to the way banks must act in a number of countries, passed under the guise of terrorism. They have impacted me*; and the same rules often flow on to requirements like this (approval must be sought for money transfers relating to Myanmar).

It's not the government's place to restrict my ability to move money; nor is it reasonable for them to assert a guilty-until-proven innocent stance on it. This is why I - and evidently others - relate the statements around "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" to issues like this.

* I can't open, change (e.g. add a family member), etc credit card accounts I have in Australia because I don't live there (due to career related mobility) at the moment. How this even supposedly restricts "money laundering in support of terrorists" I do not know, but it impacts me and many other Australian ex-pats.

Are you a terrorist expert?
What makes you think the rule changes are not a legitamit method of financial control?

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  Reply # 1244326 22-Feb-2015 19:19
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kendog: 
Are you a terrorist expert?

No. Are you?
kendog: What makes you think the rule changes are not a legitamit method of financial control?

What makes you think they are?

From reasonable observation I've seen these kind of rules impact people in a negative way. I believe in innocent until proven guilty, yet many rules like this seem to be changing reversing it (guilty until you prove you're doing something innocent), which is counter-productive, and quite frankly, ineffective for the problem they set out to change. It also forces a lot of cost into private business, which ultimately gets carried by the consumer.

I disagree with the way of thinking that government always knows what is best, and thus must be irrationally followed. It makes me really sad when I hear people at airports (or interviewed on TV in the context of airports/security) saying how they appreciate it and "anything to make me safer".

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  Reply # 1244831 23-Feb-2015 14:15
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So OP, did your second payment go through without the description?



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  Reply # 1244998 23-Feb-2015 16:50
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Yes it did. Not even a murmur. Put through on the same day they refunded the original amount to exactly the same destination just less the word myanmar....!!





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  Reply # 1245005 23-Feb-2015 17:07
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Geektastic: Yes it did. Not even a murmur. Put through on the same day they refunded the original amount to exactly the same destination just less the word myanmar....!!


I wonder if putting "Burma" in the reference would have made any difference? money-mouth




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


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