FinCEN Files: Facts about documents leak exposing international banks' involvement in scams

FinCEN Files: Facts about documents leak exposing international banks' involvement in scams

A report by BBC has revealed how various international banks in the United States and the United Kingdom and other countries allow criminals to "move dirty money around the world".

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The report cited leaked documents which involved about $2tn of transactions by the banks. The documents were leaked from the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and popularly known as FinCEN files.

FinCEN Files: Facts about documents leak exposing international banks' involvement in scams
FinCEN Files: Facts about documents leak exposing international banks' involvement in scams. Photo credit: AP via Financial Times
Source: UGC

FinCEN files

According to the report, the FinCEN files are more than 2,500 documents, most of which were files that banks sent to the US authorities between 2000 and 2017.

The files are highly treated as confidential and are meant to raise flags about possible suspicious illegal financial activities their clients might be involved in. gathers that banks in the US use the files to report suspicious behaviour but they are not proof of wrongdoing or crime.

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Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

The banks are obligated to report any concern about transactions made in US dollars even if the transactions do not take place in the country via a template referred to as Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

The files were reportedly leaked to several news media outlets across the world including the BBC.

The media outlets' investigations found out that the banks that are supposed to make sure they don't help their clients to launder money or move it around in unlawful manners have actually been doing the opposite.

According to the report, the banks are not supposed to only file SARS reports and keep taking the suspected illegal money from their clients. They are supposed to stop in moving the cash if they have evidence of criminal activity.

Several international banks including HSBC, JP Morgan, The United Arab Emirates' central bank, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, etc were indicted in the illegal practice of helping move "dirty money" around the world.

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FinCEN said the leak could impact the US national security, compromise investigations and threaten the safety of institutions and individuals who file the reports.

The US financial regulatory agency has also announced proposals to overhaul its anti-money laundering programmes. notes that this is particularly critical as the US prepares for the November presidential elections amid fears of possible foreign interference.

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In other news, Nigeria's attorney-general and justice minister, Abubakar Malami, has opened more cans of worms regarding the country's ongoing legal battle with the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).

Speaking on Sunday, September 6, Malami said investigations by the Nigerian government has revealed that about $301 million was given as under-hand dealings to some persons to cover up the illegality of the gas supply and processing deal.

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The P&ID contract which was signed during the administration of Late President Umaru Yar’adua in 2010 has been discarded by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, on the grounds that it was a product of fraud and corruption.

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