New Leaks : Corrupt politicians, drug lords, bankers, sportsfigures, royalty arms dealers held HSBC Swiss bank accounts, HSBC profited from blood diamonds, illegal arms trade
Explosive revelations from the leaked documents! A cache of secret bank files which were illegally downloaded by bank employee Herve Falciani, former computer security expert shows that HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers avoid taxes and hide millions of dollars.
Falciani had to flee to France to avoid victimisation from the banking higher ups. Falciani told CBS’s 60 Minutes aired on Sunday night that he had taken help from other HSBC employees in downloading the data.
The documents which also reveal that HSBC profited from the lucrative blood diamonds trade going on between the rival war lords and factions in war ravaged region of Africa.
The leaks were made public through a report by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which was released yesterday.
The documents contain records of some 30,000 accounts kept at HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary between 2005 and 2007. As per the reports the most of the accounts belonged to politicians, royalty, designers, arms dealers and sport figures from all across the globe and contained almost $120 billion.
HSBC secret customers included corrupt businessmen, dictators, arms industry officials and high-end criminals. Among the high profile customers is the former ANZ Bank chairman Charles Goode. Goode held an account with HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm and was identified only as “Mr Shaw” in his dealings with the bank, according to file notes in leaked bank documents.
The leaked documents also show that the HSBC staff actively helped the high profile customers conceal the accounts from various taxation and international law authorities. HSBC also provided these customers with untraceable bundles of cash in various currencies and denominations to avoid customs and law enforcement agencies around the world.
Falcini said on 60 Minutes that, “Friends, let’s say, partners, gave me these data. I’m not the only person in banking system that wants to raise alarm.”
HSBC is one of the largest banking conglomerates in the world with majority of its business in Asia and Middle East. It has already been fined $1.9 billion by the US government in 2012 for being accessory to money laundering business.
HSBC acknowledged that the leaked documents belonged to its Swiss branch and the subsidiary had indeed committed certain wrongdoings. However the bank added that it has since reformed its policies and now complies with international banking standards. In a statement the bank said: “HSBC has implemented numerous initiatives designed to prevent its banking services being used to evade taxes or launder money.”