Definition of hawala in English:


Syllabification: ha·wa·la
Pronunciation: /həˈwälə, -ˈvälə


  • A system or agency for transferring money traditionally used in the Muslim world, whereby the money is paid to an agent who then instructs a remote associate to pay the final recipient.
    More example sentences
    • U.S. aid and a crackdown on invisible hawala money transfers lifted Pakistan's economy.
    • To move large sums of money, they can avoid the banking system by using hawala money movers or couriers.
    • Money laundering in the Indian Ocean basin relies upon a traditional alternative banking system known as hawala or hundi, which makes it difficult to trace money transfers.


from Arabic, literally 'change, transform'.

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