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Gemstone dealer Ahmed Luqman Talib, director of Talib & Sons, outside his Melbourne home during a police raid on 20 October. Image credit: Andrew Henshaw/Herald Sun.
Gemstone dealer Ahmed Luqman Talib, director of Talib & Sons, outside his Melbourne home during a police raid on 20 October. Image credit: Andrew Henshaw/Herald Sun.

Australian gemstone dealer linked to al-Qaeda

The US government has designated an Australian gemstone dealer as an ‘associated facilitator’ of terrorist organisation al-Qaeda, with local police subsequently raiding his home in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster.

An official statement from the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) declares that Ahmed Luqman Talib, 30, “has had financial dealings in a number of countries and is involved in dealing gemstones, which provide him with the ability to move funds internationally for the benefit of al-Qaeda.

Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury
Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury
“The Treasury Department remains committed to disrupting al-Qaeda’s financial activities and networks around the world and appreciates the collaboration with our Australian partners”
Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury

“Talib conducts business around the world, including in Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, and the Gulf.”

Talib’s gemstone business, Talib & Sons, is based in Melbourne and was registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in May 2019. Talib is director of the company, while his wife Jerry Campbell is a minority member shareholder, the Herald Sun reports.

» View US Department of the Treasury statement

The Talib & Sons website describes it as “a family business specialised in the sourcing and purveying of fine coloured gemstones” with “over four generations of inherited ethics, skill and gemstone knowledge”.

It claims to have been “established in the coastal town of Beruwala in the south-western region of Sri Lanka” and to have an “extensive international procurement” network.

Following the US announcement, Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers executed a search warrant of Talib’s home.

The Herald Sun reports that enquiries were also made at several other addresses in Melbourne, NSW, and Queensland.

Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury, said, “The Treasury Department remains committed to disrupting al-Qaeda’s financial activities and networks around the world and appreciates the collaboration with our Australian partners.”

As a result of the designation, Talib and his business are prohibited from trading in the US or with any US citizens, and any US-based assets will be frozen. At the time of publication, no charges had been laid.

Jeweller has contacted Ahmed Luqman Talib for comment.

 

More reading:
US allege Australian gemstone trader Ahmed Luqman Talib funded al-Qaeda terror plots Herald Sun
US Imposes Sanctions on Qaeda Financier Who Trades in Gems New York Times
 











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