(Rephrases first and second paragraph)
By Stelios Orphanides
Nicosia District Court judge Ioannis Ioannides decided to recuse himself from examining the application of Bank of Tanzania to have the appointment of the liquidator at FBME Bank it appointed recognised in Cyprus, a source said.
Ioannides was the judge who rejected on May 10 the Central Bank of Cyprus’s application to appoint a liquidator at the Tazania-based lender implicated in money laundering, the source who spoke on condition of anonymity said. The central bank, which challenged the ruling and requested his recusal, cited a possible conflict of interest.
The Tanzanian side is represented in various other cases by a law firm representing the owners of FBME, which the Central Bank of Cyprus placed under administration and subsequently resolution in July 2014 after the US Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) described it as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern with links to terrorism.
In April, a US court rejected the bank’s appeal against a ruling affirming the decision of the FinCEN to shut FBME out of the US financial system. Bank of Tanzania revoked FBME’s licence of the bank on May 5 and appointed the Deposits Insurance Board as liquidator.
The Central Bank of Cyprus revoked in December 2015 the licence of the bank’s Cyprus branch and fined it €1.2m for failing to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations. In April 2016, it also triggered the depositors guarantee scheme which offers an up to €100,000 coverage per depositor.