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  • The Bank of America tower in New York City, The U.S., Sept. 19, 2020.

    The Bank of America tower in New York City, The U.S., Sept. 19, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @stratorob

Published 20 September 2020
Opinion

The Secret files prove how Banks are enriching themselves as they facilitate the work of terrorists and drug dealers. The U.S. administration fails to stop it.

A global investigation Sunday revealed for the first time secret documents that show how the giants of Western big-name Banks move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions as they expose the ineffective anti-money laundering efforts led by the U.S.

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The Secret U.S. government files prove how Banks are enriching themselves and their shareholders as they facilitate the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration fails to stop it.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) confidential files entered at the local outlet BuzzFeed News, which shared them with the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ).

The over 2,100 reports of suspicious activity made by banks and other financial institutions were investigated by 400 journalists from 108 media outlets in 88 countries for over a year.

The ICIJ found that the banks involved routinely processed transactions without knowing the money's source or final destination. Often, transactions were made to and from shell companies with possible links to money laundering and corruption.

"Profits from deadly drug wars, fortunes embezzled from developing countries, and hard-earned savings stolen in a Ponzi scheme were all allowed to flow into and out of these financial institutions, despite warnings from the banks’ employees," the report assured.

The investigation shows that banks such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon were involved in the money moved by suspected criminals.

The journalists also traced a U.S. drug dealer who transferred money from Rhode Island to a chemical lab in Wuhan, China, as they identified robbers of Buddhist relics graves that were sold to New York galleries.

"Suspicious payments flow around the world and into countless industries. They filter into the companies that make familiar items from people’s lives, from the gas in their car to the granola in their cereal bowl," the report added.

The networks through which dirty money traverse the world "have become vital arteries of the global economy. Banks with household names have helped to make it so," the ICIJ stated.

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