Although, Israel is keen on not cryptocurrencies, that has not stopped the country’s courts from passing judgements in the latter’s favour.
Recently, Israel’s largest bank has been forced by the Tel Aviv District Court to accept funds from the sale of bitcoin. A client of the bank was denied an incoming transfer amounting to $195000 from a European cryptocurrency trading portal.
The bank Hapoalim claimed that there was a reasonable amount of concern that the bitcoin sale was directly linked to money laundering or other forms of financial terrorism. The case held no water as the documentation with the account holder showed the exact source of the funds purchased and the ability to track money from the beginning till the end.
Apart form that, the transaction was duly reported to the Israel Tax Authority by the client. All these arguments were not good enough for the bank that refused to return the funds and said they would refund the amount in a week’s time.
Last Sunday, the two sides faced each other and the bank conceded the client’s right to his funds. In a hearing before judge Limor Bibi regarding a request for temporary injunction, it became clear that there is no real suspicion of violations of AML laws or of taxation offenses, and the bank was forced to agree that the funds would be deposited in the client’s account immediately.
Doron, Tikotzky, Kantor, Gutman & Amit Gross, the law firm which represented the plaintiffs said, “Recently, we have witnessed an extreme escalation in the banks’ fight against Bitcoin and the other virtual currencies. In what appears to be a planned policy of targeted assassination, the banks are preventing their customers from returning foreign money originating in virtual currencies to their Israeli accounts, even though the clients wish to declare the movement of the funds and pay their taxes according to the law.”
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