Woman used Bitcoin to move cash to Islamic state - Police reports

Updated Friday 15 December 2017 7:58
Woman used Bitcoin to move cash to Islamic state - Police reports
Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering and is being held without bail.

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Ms Shahnaz was born in Pakistan and worked as a lab technician in the US.

Prosecutors say she took out fraudulent loans of $85,000 (£63,000) in order to buy the bitcoin online.

Bitcoin is an online currency. Despite not being legal tender - it can't be used to pay for traditional goods and services - the value of bitcoin has rocketed this year.

Ms Shahnaz, who lives in Brentwood on Long Island, was a lab technician at a Manhattan hospital until June.

Prosecutors said that Ms Shahnaz obtained a Pakistani passport in July and booked a flight to Pakistan with a layover in Istanbul, intending to travel to Syria.

She was arrested at John F Kennedy airport carrying $9,500 in cash, just under the limit of $10,000 that a person can legally take out of the country without declaring the funds.

Searches of her electronic devices showed numerous searches for Islamic State-related material.

Ms Shahnaz faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the money laundering charges and up to 30 years for the bank fraud charge.

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