ICIJ leaked documents expose global money laundering transactions

Updated 07:52 PM

The FinCEN Files exposed $2 trillion worth of transactions

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

This evening, leaked secret U.S. government documents revealed that five global banks have defied money laundering crackdowns by moving staggering sums of illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks.

This work involved more than 400 journalists from 88 different countries. It is reported that trillions will be exposed in bank secrets.

The leaked documents, known as the FinCEN Files, include more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The agency, known in shorthand as FinCEN, is an intelligence unit at the heart of the global system to fight money laundering.

The records show that five global banks — JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.

In all, an ICIJ analysis found, the documents identify more than $2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 that were flagged by financial institutions’ internal compliance officers as possible money laundering or other criminal activity — including $514 billion at JPMorgan and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank. According to the ICIJ, the leaked FinCEN Files represent less than 0.02% of the more than 12 million suspicious activity reports that financial institutions filed with FinCEN between 2011 and 2017.

The cache of suspicious activity reports — along with hundreds of spreadsheets filled with names, dates and figures — flag bank clients in more than 170 countries who were identified as being involved in potentially illicit transactions.

The documents show that JPMorgan also processed more than $50 million in payments over a decade, the records show, for Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump. The bank shuttled at least $6.9 million in Manafort transactions in the 14 months after he resigned from the campaign amid a swirl of money laundering and corruption allegations spawning from his work with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

This is a developing story.