By Stelios Orphanides
The Cypriot judiciary will have to deal with two more cases concerning the Tanzanian FBME Bank Ltd, weeks after a US court in April dismissed the bank’s appeal against the measures taken against it by US authorities which described it as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern.
The Nicosia district court will on Friday examine an application filed by the liquidator of FBME appointed by the Bank of Tanzania to be accepted as such, two sources with knowledge of the situation said on condition of anonymity, citing the lack of authorisation to discuss the matter with the press.
In addition, the Supreme Court will convene on June 12, “to decide on how it will proceed” with respect to the appeal filed by the Central Bank of Cyprus against the Nicosia District Court ruling three weeks ago which rejected the central bank’s application to appoint a liquidator at the Tanzanian lender, one of the sources said.
“The Supreme Court was requested to speed up the procedure on the grounds that there is public interest,” the source said. “The Supreme Court accepted this request. It usually takes up to three years to do so”.
Both sources said that the Tanzanian authorities appointed the George Z. Georgiou & Associates law firm to represent them in the case. It is the same law firm which represented the owners of FBME at the court when the Central Bank of Cyprus sought to appoint a liquidator.
The George Z. Georgiou law firm did not immediately respond when it was asked for comment.
Bank of Tanzania revoked FBME’s licence on May 5 and decided to liquidate the lender. The Central Bank of Cyprus which fined FMBE €1.2m for failing to adhere to the provisions of the anti-money laundering legislation in December 2015, revoked the banking licence held by FBME’s Cyprus branch.