Udayavni Special

FinCEN Files: Everything you need to know about the documents leak on money laundering


Team Udayavani, Sep 21, 2020, 4:30 PM IST

Around 2,500 documents involving transactions worth $2trillion have been leaked.

Those documents showed that between 2000 and 2017, $1.3 trillion of $2 trillion in leaked transactions that were flagged as suspicious passed through Deutsche Bank

FinCEN Files and SARs

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, is the agency that operated under the Treasury Department, focussing on combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

A part of its operations is to collect millions of these suspicious activity reports (SARs), which it shares with law enforcement and financial intelligence operations of nations across the world.

A SAR is filed by banks and financial institutions in prescribed formats and are extremely confidential.

According to BBC, The primary objective behind filing a SARs with FinCEN is to red flag any transaction that raises suspicion, within 30 days of the transaction’s occurrence. This can include criminal funds or any form of dirty money such as insider trading, potential money laundering, terror financing among others. Non-filing of SARs can invoke hefty penalties.

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

They were discovered on Buzzfeed News and shared with a group of investigative journalists from around the world, who distributed them to 108 news organizations in 88 countries, including the BBC’s Panorama program.

It is not enough to file SARs and keep taking dirty money from clients while expecting the authorities to deal with the problem. If  banks have evidence of criminal activity they should stop moving the cash

It was revealed that several top banks were allowed criminals move their dirty money around the world

As reported by Asiaville, HSBC allowed WCM777, a Ponzi scheme, to move more than $15 million. The scam, say investors, stole at least $80 million from investors, mainly Latino and Asian immigrants.

JP Morgan allowed a company to move more than $1bn through a London account without knowing who owned it. The bank later discovered the company might be owned by a mobster on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

Deutsche Bank moved money launderers’ dirty money for organised crime, terrorists and drug traffickers.

On the other hand, In India, Indian Express report suggests that  three different Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (DBTCA) regarding funds received and sent by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) red-flag a transaction pattern where it sent money to companies based in Mauritius, Germany, and the UK, and received funds from companies based in Dubai and Switzerland within the same set of days.

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