Minn. money-transfer shops stop taking Somali cash

December 29, 2011 - 5:55 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Money-transfer businesses that cater to Somali immigrants in Minnesota have stopped accepting money bound for the East African country, a day before a key bank was due to stop processing the transactions.

Hinda Ali, a spokeswoman for the Somali-American Money Services Association in Minneapolis, says 15 money-transfer businesses stopped taking the money because of the decision of Sunrise Community Banks. Minnesota represents the largest Somali population in the U.S.

The bank announced previously that it would stop processing the transactions on Dec. 30 because it feared it could risk violating government rules intended to fight the financing of terror groups.

On Thursday, the bank released a statement saying it wouldn't process the transactions without a waiver from the government. It said it would continue to seek one.