Banking On Justice

December 17, 2012

Wall Street Journal 12/17/2012

Photo by Flikr user digitalmoneyworldSome say Eugenio Velázquez, a well-known architect in Tijuana, got off easy. In March, he tried to cross the border with nearly 13 pounds of cocaine stuffed in his car battery. Last week, a federal judge in San Diego slapped him with six months in prison and six months home detention.The judge accepted Mr. Velázquez’s story that drug traffickers put a gun to his head and threatened to harm his family if he didn’t smuggle their blow.

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HSBC’s record $1.9bn fine preferable to prosecution, US authorities insist

December 12, 2012

The Guardian, 12/11/2012

120px-20_Dollars_art3U.S. authorities defended their decision not to prosecute HSBC for accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords on Tuesday, insisting that a $1.9bn fine for a litany of offences was preferable to the “collateral consequences” of taking the bank to court.

The bank processed cash for Mexico‘s Sinaloa cartel, regarded as the most powerful and deadly drug gang in the world, among others. At least $881m in drug trafficking money was laundered throughout HSBC accounts. In order to handle the “staggering amounts of cash”, the bank even widened the windows at some branches to allow tellers to accept larger boxes of money.

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Mexico looks within

July 19, 2012

Financial Times, 7/18/12

This week’s US Senate probe into HSBC’s laundering of Mexican drug money seems  to confirm Mr Calderón’s complaints. In many ways, it also confirms the popular  Mexican notion that when it comes to the “War on Drugs”, Mexico provides the  deaths while the US gets to keep all the money.
Yet on Wednesday, Mexican newspapers were as quick to flagellate local  authorities for their ineffectiveness in fighting organised crime and  money-laundering as they were to use the HSBC scandal to slam western countries  for failing to do their bit in the “war on drugs”.

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HSBC Said to Have Laundered Mexican Drug Cash [video]

July 18, 2012

The Washington Post/The Associated Press, 07/17/2012

An investigation has found that lax controls at HSBC allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through its U.S. operation and other illicit transactions.

HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA) executives apologized for opening their U.S. affiliate to a river of Mexican drug lords’ cash, and the U.S. regulator that failed to stem the flow vowed to prevent a repeat.

To watch video click here.


Regulators and HSBC Faulted in Report on Money Laundering

July 17, 2012

The New York Times, 07/16/2012

The global bank HSBC has been used by Mexican drug cartels looking to get cash back into the United States, by Saudi Arabian banks that needed access to dollars despite their terrorist ties and by Iranians who wanted to circumvent United States sanctions, a Senate report says.

The 335-page report released Monday also says that executives at HSBC and regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ignored warning signs and failed to stop the illegal behavior at many points between 2001 and 2010.

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