6:09 pm in al rajhi bank, cia report, drug cartels, drug proceeds, financial benefactor, law enforcement officials, mexico unit, News Feed, permanent subcommittee on investigations, senate investigators, terrorism financing by PinkTeaPatriot
By James O’Toole
Posted July 17th 2012
NEW YORK — Global banking giant HSBC failed to prevent billions of dollars worth of money transfers that Senate investigators believe were linked to drug cartels and terrorist groups, according to a report released Monday.
The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said London-based HSBC (HBC) failed to review thousands of suspicious transactions and properly vet clients over the past decade.
Among other issues, the report notes that in 2007 and 2008, HSBC’s Mexico unit shipped $7 billion in cash to the bank’s U.S. affiliate, a volume of shipments that law enforcement officials said could reach that size “only if they included illegal drug proceeds.”
HSBC Mexico had a number of high-profile clients linked to drug trafficking, the report says, as well as “a huge backlog of accounts marked for closure due to suspicious activity, but whose closures were delayed.”
The report also found that HSBC worked extensively with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, some owners of which have been linked to terrorism financing, according to a CIA report quoted by the subcommittee. Some evidence suggests Al Rajhi’s “key founder” was “an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda,” the report says.
HSBC’s U.S. affiliate supplied Al Rajhi with nearly $1 billion worth of U.S. banknotes up to 2010, and also worked with two banks in Bangladesh that some evidence links to terrorism financing as well.
Read More: Money.CNN.com