TIRANA, Albania (AP) _ A Saudi fugitive who is under
investigation for alleged money laundering for Osama bin
Laden”s terror network has sued the Albanian government for
seizing his properties in the country, a Tirana district
court official said Wednesday.
In October, authorities seized 22 apartment units and
froze many bank accounts and other assets owned by Yasin
Al-Qadi, a Saudi businessman suspected of laundering money
through extensive business dealings in Albania. He left
Albania at least three years ago.
Albanian authorities do not know al-Qadi”s whereabouts.
«On Monday Yasin Al-Qadi deposited at the Tirana district
court a civil indictment against the Albanian government,»
Tirana court spokeswoman Ermela Zaimi told The Associated
Press, adding the indictment was filed by a local lawyer
whom she did not identify.
Al-Qadi headed the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation, which
U.S. investigators suspect took in millions from wealthy
Saudis and funneled it to bin Laden. He was among 39
individuals and organizations designated in 2001 by the
U.S. government to have their assets frozen.
In October, Albania approved a U.N. list of terrorist
groups, on which Al-Qadi was named. The United Nations
require all countries to freeze assets and impose arms and
travel bans on those on the list, which contains
individuals and groups associated with terrorist
An Albanian decision Oct. 29, 2004 said that all Al-Qadi”s
assets and activities would be seized and frozen.
The Saudi citizen had set up eight companies in Albania
from 1992, and was known by five different names. He has
been under investigation since January 2002 for suspected
money laundering, but had already left the country by that
Last year Albania passed a law which allowed it to seize
assets and block funding and obliged people to tell
authorities about suspected terrorist financing.
Earlier this year Albanian authorities seized properties
and froze the assets of four foundations and a married
couple accused by the United Nations of funding terrorist
Albania, a small, predominantly Muslim country, has been a
vocal backer of the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq, where it
deployed a unit of 120 non-combat troops to help with
postwar peacekeeping. It also has peacekeeping units in
Afghanistan and Bosnia.