HSBC Sued Over Money-Laundering Murder Link
Four families of people murdered by Mexican drug gangs have launched a court case against HSBC accusing them of complicity in the killings by “knowingly providing financial services to the Mexican drug cartels and laundering billions of dollars of their illicit proceeds”. (Daily Telegraph )
Despite admitting to carrying out sustained massive money laundering activities for the cartels, the bank was fined just US$1.9billion (‘five weeks’ profit) in 2014 with no executives jailed at all.
In a devastatingly detailed report in Rolling Stone titled ‘Gangster Bankers: Too Big To Fail’, Matt Taibbi highlighted the link which appears to have motivated the new court case.
“The HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated with Wall Street,” he noted.
The case also attracted the attention of Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2013, who questioned how the bankers managed to avoid facing any personal criminal liability.
“If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life,” said the Senator.
“But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night — every single individual associated with this — and I just think that’s fundamentally wrong,” she suggested. (Huffington Post)
HSBC appeared unconcerned by the latest court action, telling Russia Today they ‘intend to defend ourselves vigorously against these legal claims’.