Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

US Government Watching Money Wired to Serbia

My husband went down to our local bank in the US today to send some money to Sombor Serbia for home repairs, etc. We've done this occasionally before, so it's no big deal, although you can tell it gives the local bank manager a bit of a thrill; international finance, even our paltry transactions, not being something he is remotely used to.

Everything went routinely. Then a few minutes after my husband returned home, the bank manager called up on the phone. Our transaction had been flagged by the Feds and they had a critical question that must be answered before the funds could go through:

Were we sending this money to Kosovo? If so, it cannot be allowed because it might fund terrorist activities.

We laughed and said, Sombor is on the other end of the country. You go any further north and pretty soon you hit the Hungarian border. You can't expect a small town bank manager in New England to know that. It's impressive enough he doesn't get Serbia confused with Siberia, which is awfully common for Americans.

Anyway, the whole thing felt weird. Being a suspect. Homeland Security. Honestly. Weird.

1 comment:

DoubtingFoo said...

Yes, I'm sooo sick of the Siberia thing! I shipped something to Serbia a few months ago and the UPS office was like "Siberia?" Then the morons had their routing wrong and kept sending it to Kosovo. They ended up refunding our money because it took 10 days for 2 day shipping.