Man accused of using UK coronavirus loans to help fund ISIS

Tarek Namouz faces eight charges of sending money to a terrorist group

Syrians displaced during the war with ISIS return to their homes in the city of Hasaka, north-eastern Syria. EPA

A man has appeared in a UK court accused of using thousands of pounds in coronavirus "bounce back" loans to fund ISIS in Syria.

Tarek Namouz, 42, faces eight charges of funding a terrorist group between November 2020 and May 2021.

He is also accused of two counts of possessing terrorist information relating to videos.

The UK government has faced allegations of "complacency over fraud" concerning the loan initiative used to help businesses survive the pandemic.

The National Audit Office has suggested that £17 billion ($21.29bn) worth of loans will not be paid back. An additional £4.9bn is estimated to have been lost to fraud.

On Monday, the accused, a former pub landlord from London, appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from Wandsworth jail.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said the accused sent “the proceeds of coronavirus 'bounce back' funding loans to ISIS”.

Mr Justice Sweeney said it was a “serious case” that would be heard by Judge Peter Lodder at Kingston Crown Court.

A plea and case management hearing was set for July 22, with a provisional two-week trial from November 21.

The accused, who spoke only to confirm his identity, was remanded into custody.

Updated: May 03, 2022, 9:31 AM