HSBC has been caught in another huge money laundering scam, involving hundreds of millions of US dollars run and Russian oligarchs.
According to documents obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, $20 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014 in an operation called “The Global Laundromat”
At the same time, HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver also faces a probe from tax officials in the U.K. who are investigating whether he illegally evaded taxes by claiming residence abroad.
Over that period, Bank of China – one of the biggest state-owned commercial banks in China – processed a total of US$716 million of the Laundromat cash via branches in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, making it the fourth most active bank in the plot, as shown by the documents.
Several other Chinese banks, including China Constriction Bank Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of Communication and Agriculture Bank of China, also ended up with tainted money.
According to Asia Times’ calculations, the five largest Chinese banks processed more than US$1 billion. The OCCRP investigation shows that the US$20 billion found its way to 96 countries, with about US$915 million ending up in mainland China, and US$927 million in Hong Kong.
HSBC, which is headquartered in London, processed US$545.3m in Laundromat cash, mostly routed through its Hong Kong branch, according to the Guardian newspaper. HSBC, headquartered in Hong Kong up until 1993, is by far the city’s biggest bank.
HSBC responded to the allegations by saying: “This case highlights the need for greater information sharing between the public and private sectors, each of whom holds important information the other does not.”
“The bank has systems and processes in place to identify suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate government authorities.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank is also implicated.
The scam is believed to have involved over 500 people, including oligarchs and Russian criminals with links to the government and the FSB. Investigators are now trying to identify some of the wealthy and politically influential Russians behind the operation.
Besides the Chinese banks, Credit Suisse, Citibank and Falcon Private Bank are also alleged to have processed soiled capital via their Chinese branches.
The scheme brings to mind the scandal surrounding the leaked “Panama Papers”, an unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
The documents found the biggest proportion of its offshore company owners came from mainland China, followed by Hong Kong.
At least eight current or former members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, the ruling Communist party’s most powerful body, have been implicated, according to reports.
In response, a Communist party censorship directive instructed news organizations to purge all reports, blogs, bulletin boards and comments relating to the highly sensitive revelations.
News relating to the Global Laundromat could not be found on any of China’s leading media websites searched by Asia Times.
More: FBI Director Comey was board member of HSBC – Clinton Foundation & Drug Cartel ‘bank of choice’
Much has been made recently about the FBI and the Department of Justice letting off favored presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for admittedly mishandling classified information and using her own private email servers to do state business during her time as US Secretary of State. FBI Director James Comey was manning the key choke-point in the decision to not hold Clinton accountable for what so many before her have received convictions for. What many are not aware of is the political and organizational links between Hillary Clinton and James Comey behind the curtain of international high finance.
An argument can be made that FBI Director James Comey has multiple conflicts of interest when it comes to interfacing with the great and the good, and the Clintons in particular. Based on the evidence available to hand – one could easily flag-up Comey’s relationships and past and present involvement with questionable banks, and the Clintons – as a type of conflict of interest (albeit indirect), if not an accessory to institutional corruption, where Comey’s role as a top-level ‘fixer’ is self evident – fixing outcomes for those members of an elite international club of high finance and organized crime. Could this be the case? Let’s investigate…
Many are unaware that Comey’s served on the board of banking giant HSBC (‘international drug money clearing house’) before parachuting softly into the head of the FBI in 2013. That’s only the beginning…
It appears that James Comey (who is actually a lawyer by trade) also has long history of cases ending favorable to Clintons, including the case of Sandy Berger, a former Clinton Administration aid. During the Berger probe, Comey said publicly that ‘we take issues of classified information very seriously’, all the while seeming to undermine the scope of the investigation – presumably to protect the Clintons:
“In 2004, Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack.”
“Curiously, Berger, Lynch and Cheryl Mills all worked as partners in the Washington law firmHogan & Hartson, which prepared tax returns for the Clintons and did patent work for a software firm that played a role in the private email server Hillary Clinton used when she was secretary of state.”
“Hogan & Hartson in Virginia filed a patent trademark request on May 19, 2004, for Denver-based MX Logic Inc., the computer software firm that developed the email encryption system used to manage Clinton’s private email server beginning in July 2013. A tech expert has observed that employees of MX Logic could have had access to all the emails that went through her account.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated [Loretta] Lynch for the first of her two terms as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, a position she held until she joined Hogan & Hartson in March 2002 to become a partner in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.”
Many will also be unaware that before Comey was installed by the Obama Administration as FBI Director, he was on the board of Director at HSBC Bank – a bank implicated in international money laundering, including the laundering of billions on behalf of international drugs and narcotics trafficking cartels.
Forbes also points out where Comey was also at the key choke-point during the case involving dodgy auditor KPMG which followed on by the HSBC criminal case:
“If Comey, and his boss Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, had made a different decision about KPMG back in 2005, KPMG would not have been around to miss all the illegal acts HSBC and Standard Chartered SCBFF +% were committing on its watch. Bloomberg reported in 2007 that back in June of 2005, Comey was the man thrust into the position of deciding whether KPMG would live or die for its criminal tax shelter violations.”
So according to the establishment narrative, Comey is the who will “keep an eye on the banks” and “help stamp out corruption,” while the opposite seems to be happening. Has Comey been put in place to stop corruption, or to enable it? His record certainly warrants some study on this point.