Duhaime's Law Dictionary Hawala Definition: Arabic: a form of international money transfer often used to conduct money laundering. Related Terms: Money Laundering In US v Elfgeeh, Justice Kersh reiterated this description provided by FBI witnesses; "A Hawala operates in a similar fashion to a Western Union business. It's a money transfer operation. "The word Hawala translated from Arabic into English means transfer. Hawala business is used to send money from one location to another. "(Re) the benefits of using a hawala instead of using an official money-transmitting business such as Western Union, one, it's conducted outside the realm of licensed banking activity. There is no regulatory oversight. Therefore, the transactions are basically conducted without any sort of legal review of how the transactions are conducted. "It also enables the transactions to occur without any review by banking officials that they are conducted in accordance with procedures and laws which govern banking activity.... "The true originator of the funds and the true beneficiary of the funds are not identifiable in the banking transactions." Canadian Jurist C. Duhaime writes: "A hawala is an informal system of money transfer whereby funds are transferred by customers to a hawala operator, called a hawaladar, in one country and disbursed to recipients in another country by other hawaladar associates." REFERENCES: Duhaime, C., Hawala: New York resident indicted for hawala activities in attempted Times Square bombing, Sept. 15, 2010, posted at Duhaime's Anti-Money Laundering Law in Canada US v. Elfgeeh, 515 F. 3d 100, United States Court of Appeals, 2008 Categories & Topics: Duhaime's International Law Dictionary Duhaime's Muslim Law Dictionary Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only) If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!