6 Pakistani Banks named in ICIJ global report on money laundering
*ABL, UBL, HabibMetro, Bank Alfalah, SCB, and HBL carried out 29 suspicious transactions north of USD 2 million*
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published an investigation into the role of global banks in industrial-scale money laundering and its catastrophic consequences, from all over the world.
Titled as FinCEN Files, the report reveals that global banks moved more than $2 trillion between 1999 and 2017 in payments they believed were suspicious, and flagged bank clients in more than 170 countries who were identified as being involved in potentially illicit transactions. The figures include $514 billion at JPMorgan Chase and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.
The recently uncovered trove of government documents also revealed 29 transactions that showed suspicious transactions to and from Pakistan. $1,942,560 was received as a result of these transactions that included one ‘sent’ transactions worth $452,000. These transactions were from Allied Bank Limited (ABL), United Bank Limited (UBL), Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd, Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), and Habib Bank Limited (HBL).
“Laws that were meant to stop financial crime have instead allowed it to flourish. So long as a bank files a notice that it may be facilitating criminal activity, it all but immunizes itself and its executives from criminal prosecution. The suspicious activity alert effectively gives them a free pass to keep moving the money and collecting the fees” Buzzfeed News wrote in its coverage of the investigative report link .
The story is titled after ‘The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN’, which is the agency within the Treasury Department charged with combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. It collects millions of these suspicious activity reports, known as SARs. It makes them available to US law enforcement agencies and other nations’ financial intelligence operations.