100 dollar bills (illustration).


LM Otero / AP / SIPA

The fraud lasted nearly twenty years.

Astronomical amounts of dirty money passed through the world's largest banking institutions between 1999 and 2017, according to a new international survey by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

"Profits from the murderous drug wars, the embezzled fortunes of developing countries and the hard-earned economies stolen as part of a Ponzi scheme have all been able to get in and out of these financial institutions, despite warnings from the employees of banks ”, details the investigation, carried out by 108 international media, from 88 countries.

2,000 billion dollars

The investigation is based on thousands of "suspicious activity reports" (SARs) made to the US Treasury's financial police, FinCen, by banks around the world.

"These documents, compiled by banks, shared with the government, but kept out of public view, expose the yawning chasm of bank guarantees, and the ease with which criminals have exploited them", assures the American media Buzzfeed News, as a preamble to its investigation.

The documents relate to 2,000 billion dollars in transactions, which circulated between 1999 and 2017.

The investigation points in particular to five major banks - JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon - accused of having continued to transit funds from suspected criminals, even after being prosecuted. or convicted of financial misconduct.

An investigation criticized

At the end of its research, Buzzfeed News affirms that "the networks through which dirty money passes through the world have become vital arteries to the global economy".

In a statement, Deutsche Bank assured that the Consortium's revelations were in fact information "well known" to its regulators and said it had "devoted significant resources to strengthening its controls" and "being extremely attentive to compliance. of (his) responsibilities and (his) obligations ”.

The investigation also points to the impotence of the American authorities in the regulation of these transactions.

In a statement released before the investigation was released, US Treasury Financial Police warned that the release of suspicious activity reports was a "crime" that "may have an impact on the national security of the United States."


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