The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in leaked documents involving about $2tn of transactions has revealed how some of the world’s biggest financial institutions allowed wealthy individuals to move ‘dirty’ money around the world.
The FinCEN findings also revealed how Russian oligarchs used banks to avoid sanctions that were supposed to stop them from getting their money into the West.
In a published report on Sunday, it disclosed that the FinCEN files were more than 2,500 documents, most of which were files that banks sent to the United States’ authorities between 2000 and 2017.
It said, “These documents are some of the international banking system’s most closely guarded secrets.
“Banks use them to report suspicious behaviour but they are not proof of wrongdoing or crime.”
According to Fergus Shiel from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the leaked files were an “insight into what banks know about the vast flows of dirty money across the globe.”
The documents is the latest in a string of leaks over the past five years that have exposed secret deals, money laundering, and financial crime.
What has been revealed, according to the report, is that HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclay, Standard Chartered, Deutsche, and others were involved in the dirty money transfer.
There have been a number of big leaks of financial information in recent years, including the 2017 Paradise Papers, 2016 Panama Papers, 2015 Swiss Links, and 2014 LuxLeaks.
However, FinCEN said the papers were different because they were not just documents from one or two companies but they came from a number of banks.
“They highlight a range of potentially suspicious activity involving companies and individuals and also raise questions about why the banks which had noticed this activity did not always act on their concerns,” it stated.
FinCEN feared that the leak could impact on the US national security, compromise investigations, and threaten the safety of institutions and individuals who file the reports.
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