A Britannia man’s attempt to wire $116 to a friend in the Netherlands has been caught in a U.S. net designed to intercept money to terrorists.
Said Ali, who came to Canada from Somalia in 1991, now has his money frozen by the U.S. firm Western Union because the recipient’s name is Mohammed Ali — a Dutch citizen who is also originally from Somalia.
The name “Mohammed Ali” appears on a list of names linked to terrorism produced by the U.S. Treasury Department.
According to Danielle Jimenez, a spokeswoman for Western Union, if either the sender’s or recipient’s name appears on that restricted list, the money is frozen until the person with the name appearing on that list can prove his identity.
Mohammed Ali refused to surrender a copy of his passport to Western Union because he “did not want to give his passport number to the United States for fear of what they would do with that number and for his dignity,” Said Ali wrote in a letter to Bay Councillor Alex Cullen, to whom he was appealing for help…