French court sentences two people to jail for using crypto to ‘finance terror’ in Syria
Sami Allem and Abderrahman Cheikh were prosecuted for transferring cryptocurrency and opening online accounts for three members of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham.
A French court has found two men guilty of ‘funding terrorism’ in Syria and sentenced them to prison, according to reports in French media.
Sami Allem, a 26-year-old French-Algerian and Abderrahman Cheikh, a 23-year-old French Moroccan were found guilty of “terrorism financing” and “criminal association” respectively.
The two men were first arrested in 2020. They were sentenced to four years in prison, some of which was suspended. They must serve three and two years in jail respectively, according to a report in French daily Le Figaro.
Allem and Cheikh were prosecuted for transferring cryptocurrency and opening online accounts for three members of the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) a hardline Islamist group which dominates the rebel-held Idlib province in Syria. Together, they transferred around 280,000 Euros in cryptocurrency to fighters in Syria.
Two of the three HTS members benefiting from the funds, Mesut Sekerci (known as Abu Moussa) and Walid Fekkar, left for Syria in 2013 and were sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016 for being associated with a ‘terrorist’ and criminal organisation.
Both Cheikh and Allem acknowledged their actions during the trial, arguing that they were not aware of the dangers of their actions and wanted to “aid the Syrian people.”
Source: The New Arab
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