It’s true. You sent us nearly $5000 and now the banks are refusing to release the funds. We tried to send the first $3720 of that amount from our account at Bank of the West to the Charitable Association for Palestinian Relief in Lebanon. For this transaction, Bank of the West used the international banking services of Mellon Bank in New York.
Mellon stopped the transaction and requested further information. By that time we were in the process of changing banks, so we cancelled the transaction and asked them to return the money to our account so that we could send the money from the new bank (and add additional funds received). In addition, the information requested made no sense (for example, the personal details of Syrian ex-president Hafez al-Assad, who died fifteen years ago). Now they are threatening to confiscate the funds permanently at 4:00 p.m. TODAY Pacific time (7:00 p.m. Eastern).
We do not believe they have the legal right to do this, but we also do not want to spend a lot of money on legal services. PLEASE CALL and tell them to release the funds. They have no right to keep our money if we have canceled the transaction. We do not know what will happen after 4:00 today, but we suggest continuing to call daily for as long as is takes to release the money. We will update you whenever we have more information.
PLEASE CALL and tell them to release the funds for freezing Palestinians. And don’t bank at Bank of the West or use the services of Mellon Bank.
Tanya Kazak, Vice President, Compliance Manager, Bank of the West +1 925 843 1060
Karen Nelson, Customer Service Manager, El Cerrito Branch, Bank of the West +1 510 235 2980