HSBC into money laundering, terrorism financing?

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Global banking giant and London-based HSBC reportedly failed to prevent billions of dollars of money transfers that a US Senate probe showed were linked to drug cartels and terrorist groups. A subcommittee report released ahead of a Senate hearing on Tuesday supposedly showed the global banking giant did not properly vet clients over the past decade. Among the transactions highlighted in the report are suspicious funds from Mexico, Syria, the Cayman Islands, Iran and Saudi Arabia that passed through the bank. Drug money reportedly passed through HSBC’s Mexico unit in 2007 and 2008 through a $7 billion cash transfer to the bank’s U.S. affiliate. The report also said HSBC Mexico had a number of high-profile clients linked to drug trafficking, with “a huge backlog of accounts marked for closure due to suspicious activity, but whose closures were delayed.” It also cited HSBC’s US unit for allegedly supplying Al Rajhi Bank whose owners have been linked to funding al Qaeda actvities, about US$1 billion worth of US banknotes up to 2010.

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