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Posts Tagged Zardari Thief

Moojan-e-Moojan: Zardari Baba, Nawaz Sharif & Their Gang of 40 thieves Laugh All The Way to the Bank Looting 180 Million Poor Pakistanis

BE WARNED: PAKISTANI CROOKS FIND AMERICA AS EASY PICKINGS, BUT JAIL IS THEIR FINAL RESIDENCY

BE WARNED: PAKISTANI CHEATERS, SHORT-CUTTERS &SCOFFLAWS  ILLEGAL ACTS LAND YOU IN JAIL IN AMERICA FOR LIFE

 

In Pakistan, corruption starts at the top rightUnknown-4 from the President and Prime Minister. Asif Zardari, the President of Pakistan is a known Crook. Nawaz Sharif is a money launderer and a bank defaulter, His best buddy, Mirza Iqbal, a tycoon of Hall Road is a US convicted drug smuggler. Majority of Pakistanis elected these crooks to the core as their leaders. Most of the underclasses follow their lead and try to find shortcuts to wealth, especially in the West. However, as they say in America, this does not ” cut the mustard.” Advanced Western nations have mostly build their societies on honesty and ethics. There is a saying, “You do the crime. You do the time.” But, our Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi, and Afghan brethren never seem to learn. Until, its time to “do the time.”

Our beautiful Deen is based on the Life of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH), whose honesty was exemplary from his birth to his death. He was called “Al-Amin,” the Trustworthy.”  But, his followers in the Indo-Pak Sub-continent are steeped in dishonesty.

Here is a story of dishonesty of Pakistanis in the US, their motto,” greed is good,” landed them in the slammer.

They were provided with opportunity to earn an honest living. They could have earned millions of dollars, just by honesty and hard work, like the majority of their countrymen living in the US. Unknown-6But, no, these chumps,louts,

shysters,and blighter, had to take a short cut to the Road to Perdition. The smeared the name of not only their community, but, also Pakistan and Pakistanis around the globe.

This story was broken by the New York Times, a Jewish Newspaper, which has no love lost for Pakistanis and/or Muslims.

The Moral of this Story: People who live in Glass houses, Must Not Throw Stones or One Bad Fish Can Spoil the Pond.

Please read on and weep:

 

 

U.S. SEIZES 14 7-ELEVEN STORES IN IMMIGRATION RAIDS

By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and MOSI SECRET

New York Times

 

Federal authorities seized 14 7-Eleven stores on Long Island and in Virginia early Monday, arresting nine owners and managers and charging them with harboring and hiring illegal immigrants and paying them using sham Social Security numbers, people briefed on the case said.

 

images-29Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn were also investigating 40 other 7-Eleven franchises in New York City and elsewhere, the person said, and the prosecutors were seeking $30 million in forfeiture from the stores and their corporate parent. The franchises split their profits with the corporation, which handles the store payrolls, the people said.

 

The owners and managers — eight men and a woman — were charged in an indictment to be unsealed Monday morning, the people said. It included accusations of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from payment of employees who were illegal immigrants using the Social Security numbers of children and the dead, the people said. One of the people said the owners and managers had abused and taken advantage of the illegal immigrant workers.

 

Many of those charged were of Pakistani descent and it was believed that most, if not all, of the illegal immigrants were also from Pakistan, one of the people said.

 

In one instance, an employee of one franchise was paid using the Social Security number of a former 7-Eleven employee, a person who had not worked for the store for 10 years and who had been the target of collection efforts by the Internal Revenue Service for much of that time because of the reported payments to the illegal immigrant, the people said.

 

The conduct charged in the indictment, the people said, had been going on for more than a decade. Twenty-five of the 40 additional 7-Eleven franchises under scrutiny were to be inspected on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation, the people said. Several of those stores were in New York City.

 

images-43One of the people briefed on the matter, noting that the parent company handled the store payrolls, said there were no internal controls to prevent the same Social Security numbers from being used to pay more than one store employee, which happened in more than one instance.

 

Scott Matter, a spokesman for the parent company, said it was aware of the arrests and seizures and “has been cooperating with federal authorities during their investigation.” Mr. Matter said the company would have no comment until it learned more about the case.

 

By about 9 a.m., eight of the nine who had been indicted were in custody, five of them in New York and three in Virginia, one of the people said. The last individual was being sought.

 

One of the raids took place about 6 a.m., at a 7-Eleven on Carleton Avenue in Islip, on Long Island, according to a law enforcement agent at the scene who declined to give his name or reveal the agency he worked for. One person, he said, was taken into custody from the store and two people were taken away from a house across the street. It was unclear what connection the house had to the investigation.

 

images-19The store remained closed through the early morning, with law enforcement agents turning away customers who ordinarily stop in for coffee. A worker for the Town of Islip said he had seen similar law enforcement activity at several other nearby 7-Elevens.

 

The United States attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta E. Lynch, and James T. Hayes, who is in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s office of investigations in New York City, were expected to announce the charges laterMonday morning, along with officials from the New York State Police and the Suffolk County Police Department.

 

Randy Leonard contributed reporting.

 

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FINANCIAL TERRORISM OF SHAUKAT AZIZ & ASIF ZARDARI & COMPLICITY OF CITIBANK SWITZERLAND & CAYMAN ISLAND

 

 

Unknown-22

Looking for the lost money that belonged to the Pakistani people…

The money is gone: Pakistani people own the loans & Citibank knew where it is:

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Saturday August 8, 2009

 

GEO TV: For the first time in YEARS, on Pakistan mainstream TV network, Dr. Shahid Masood in his “Mere Mutabiq” program reveals the facts that money from Pakistans treasury was taken by Asif Ali Zardari, the CURRENT President of Pakistan, and laundered through the Cayman Islands, finally winding up at Citibank Switzerland. Also named in the charges is former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz (who now lives in London).

 

Dr. Shahid Masood reports, “As the Pakistani Army and people fight terrorists in the country, we have financial terrorists attacking in Pakistan, and present a much greater threat to the country.” (Translation).

Oil companies who have recently collected 7 billion rupees in carbon taxes (ordered by Zardari), have yet to pay a single rupee in taxes to the Pakistan treasury.

 

Nothing yet in print media; but here are two articles from Pakistani online news back in 2007.

Ref


 

Shaukat Aziz and Citibank’s Laundering of Asif Zardari’s Money

Posted: Nov 22, 2007 Thu 12:00 am

How Citibank Laundered Asif Zardari’s Money, provides a case history excerpted from a US Congress Subcommittee’s investigation of moneylaundering by private banking groups within US banks during the 1990s. The present post reproduces an interesting document, “List of meetings between Mr. Zardari and Citibank personnel, provided by Citibank,” being document “h” of a list of “Documents relating to Asif Ali Zardari” appended to the Report.

 

As part of its investigation, the subcommittee asked Citibank to provide a written record of meetings held between Citibank officials and four high profile Citibank account holders, including Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. Unlike the other cases, in which the names of relatively low level Citibank private banking group staff emerges in the records provided, the names of Citibank staff involved in the case of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari consists of men who have gone on to play a prominent role in Pakistan:

 

Shaukat Aziz, Until recently Prime Minister of Pakistan (close ties to CIA

Shaukat Tarin, Chairman, Board of Directors, Karachi Stock Exchange

Sajjad Rizvi

Nadeem Hussain, CEO, Tameer Bank & President, Tameer Foundation

 

The statement provided by Citibank lists date, participants, location, and summary of contacts between Citibank staff and the Bhuttos. This statement is reproduced below, interspersed with important events in the more detailed Asif Zardari case summary [see here] provided in the House Sub-Committee Report, inserted chronologically:

Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Exhibit # 31h.

Meetings, Events, or Functions at which Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, or Both Were Present

 

Date: Late January/Early February 1994

Participants: William Rhodes, Shaukat Aziz, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, and others

Location: Davos, Switzerland

Summary: William Rhodes and Shaukat Aziz attend Davos economic conference. During conference, they are guests at a dinner hosted by Benazir Bhutto and attended by approximately 150 others.

 

 

Date: February 1994

Participants: John Reed, Paul Collins, Shaukat Tarin, Benazir Bhutto, and Asif Ali Zardari

Location: Islamabad

Summary: Discussion of Pakistani and world affairs

 

NOTES on the Citibanksters:

 

William Rhodes: William R. “Bill” Rhodes Rhodes is the Senior Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc. and the Chairman of Citigroup and Citibank. He is also Chairman of the Board of both the Americas Society and its affiliate, the Council of the Americas, which were originally founded by David Rockefeller in 1965, and is a board member of the Group of Thirty.

Rhodes was educated at Northfield Mount Hermon, a college preparatory school, and Brown University; he joined Citibank in 1957. As the Senior International Officer for Citigroup, Mr. Rhodes has specific responsibilities for client relationships in emerging markets worldwide, relationships with governments and other official institutions and appointments of Citibank’s senior country officers outside the U.S.

 

John Shepard Reed [/b] (born 1939) is the former Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of Citicorp, Citibank, and post-merger, Citigroup.was asked to be interim CEO of the New York Stock Exchange after the Richard Grasso over-compensation scandal. He accepted the job for a $1 salary and set up new governance rules as the NYSE became a public corporation. Reed is on the board of directors at Altria Group.

 

Paul J. Collins became a director of the [Enstar Group Ltd.] on January 31, 2007 in connection with the completion of the Merger. Mr. Collins served as a director of The Enstar Group, Inc. from May 2004 through the Merger. Mr. Collins retired as a Vice Chairman and member of the Management Committee of Citigroup Inc. in September 2000. From 1985 to 2000, Mr. Collins served as a director of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank; from 1988 to 1998, he also served as Vice Chairman of those entities. Mr. Collins currently serves as chairman of the University of Wisconsin Foundation and a trustee of the Glyndebourne Arts Trust. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm. He was previously a director of Kimberly Clark Corporation, Nokia Corporation and BG Group and a member of the supervisory board of Actis Capital LLP.

 

 

Date: August 1994

Participants: Sajjad Rizvi, Paul Collins, Shaukat Tarin, Benazir Bhutto, and others

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: General courtesy call, discussion of Citibank, macroeconomics and socio-political issues.

 

[Oct 1994 Mr. Zardari’s relationship with Citibank begins, with an account opened for Capricorn Trading, S.A. a British Virgin Island company, reportedly “through the services of Kamran Amouzegar, a private banker at Citibank private bank in Switzerland, and Jens Schlegelmilch, a Swiss lawyer who was the Bhutto family’s attorney in Europe and close personal friend for more than 20 years.”]

 

[5-6 Oct 1994 ARY International Exchange, a Dubai company owned by Abdul Razzak Yakub, alleged to have been given a gold import monopoly by Benazir Bhutto, deposits $5 million into the Capricorn Trading account on 5 Oct 1994; and another $5 million on 6 October 1994.]

 

 

Date: December 1994

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s economics advisor, Pkistani ambassador to Washington and others

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: Discussion of Pakistani economy during a dinner meeting

 

[25 Feb 1994 A 3rd deposit, this time of $8 million, is made to the Capricorn trading account. Citibank says it does not know the source of this deposit.]

 

[27 Feb 1995 “Mr. Schlegelmilch, working with Mr. Amouzegar, opened three accounts at the Citibank Switzerland private bank. The accounts were opened in the name of M.S. Capricorn Trading, which already had an account at Citibank’s Dubai branch, aswell as Marvel and Bomer Finance, two other British Virgin Island PICs established by Mr. Schlegelmilch, according to Citibank. Each private bank account listed Mr. Schlegelmilch as the account contact and signatory. Citibank informed the Subcommittee that the Swiss Form A, a government-required beneficial owner identification form, identified Mr. Zardari as the beneficial owner of each PIC.”

 

[6 March 1995 $8.1 million, routed through Citibank, NY, transferred from Dubai to Swiss account.]

 

 

Date: March 7-10, 1995

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, William Rhodes, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and others

Location: Singapore

Summary: During a state visit to Singapore by Benazir Bhutto, William Rhodes and Shaukat Aziz meet with Benazir Bhutto and her advisors in Benazir Bhutto’s hotel suite to discuss the Pakistani economy. At several official events

during this state visit, Shaukat Aziz exchanges greetings with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari

 

Date: March 7-10, 1995

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, William Rhodes, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and others

Location: Singapore, Dinner hosted by the Pakistani Ambassador

Summary: Shaukat Aziz exchanges greetings with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. Benazir Bhutto’s economic advisor asked Benazir Bhutto if she had ever visited Shaukat Aziz’s home in Singapore. She replied that she has never been invited. Shaukat Aziz stated that the Prime Minister was welcome.

 

Date: March 7-10, 1995

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Shaukat Aziz’s wife, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, protocol chiefs for Pakistan and Singapore, the Pakistani Ambassador, and numerous aides and security officials

Location: Shaukat Aziz’s home in Singapore

Summary: During state visit to Singapore Benazir Bhutto makes a surprise visit to Shaukat Aziz’s home. The Benazir Bhutto party remains for approximately one hour.

 

5 May 1995 $10.2 million, routed through Citibank, NY, transferred from Dubai to Swiss account. Shortly thereafter, Capricorn Trading’s Dubai account was closed. “Citibank has indicated that significant amounts of other funds were also deposited into the Swiss accounts. As described below, the $40 million cap was reached, and millions of additional dollars also passed through those accounts. However, Swiss bank secrecy law has prevented the Subcommittee from obtaining the details on the transactions in the Zardari accounts.”]

 

Date: July 1995

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and others

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Summary: Shaukat Aziz exchanges greetings with Asif Ali Zardari and Benazir Bhutto at a lunch given by Malaysian foreign minister in connection with benazir Bhutto’s state visit to Malaysia. Shaukat Aziz may also have exchanged greetings with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari at other events during the visit.

 

Date: Sometime during Benazir Bhutto’s second term as Prime Minister

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Shaukat Tarin, Asif Ali Zardari and others

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: Shaukat Aziz, Shaukat Tarin meet, perhaps on two different occasions, with Asif Ali Zardari and his aides for informal discussions about the Pakistani economy.

 

Date: September or October 1995

Participants: Sajjad Rizvi, Paul Collins, Shaukat Tarin, Benazir Bhutto and others

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: General courtesy call, discussion of Citibank, macroeconomics and socio-political issues.

 

Date: December 1995

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Paul Collins, Asif Ali Zardari and 1,500 others

Location: Karachi

Summary: Asif Ali Zardari is a guest at the wedding of Shaukat Aziz’s daughter

 

Date: During Benazir Bhutto’s second terms as prime minister

Participants: Shaukat Aziz and representatives of various banks

Location: Karachi

Summary: Asif Ali Zardari arrives at the end of dinner gathering of bank representatives in Karachi

 

Date: Late in Benazir Bhutto’s second terms as prime minister

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Benazir Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto’s Finance Secretary and other economic advisors

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: Discussion of Pakistani economy

 

Date: February 1996

Participants: Nadeem Hussain, Shaukat Tarin, Asif Ali Zardari and Javed Pasha

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: Courtesy meeting to introduce Hussain as Citibank’s new consumer bank head in Pakistan

 

Date: March 1996

Participants: Sajjad Rizvi, possibly Shaukat Tarin, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto and others

Location: Prime Minister’s Residence, Islamabad

Summary: Courtesy call with Lady Thatcher, whose speaking tour was sponsored by Citibank.

 

Mar/Apr 1996 “Mr. Amouzegar asked that the overall limit on the Zardari accounts be increased from $40 million to $60 million, apparently because the accounts had reached the previously imposed limit of $40 million. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Holderbeke considered the request, but declined to increase the $40 million limit.

 

June 1996 UK press reports that Mr. Zardari had purchased real estate in London. Citibank claims that an internal review was done, but Mr. Schlegelmilch allegedly indicated the funds had come from the sale of some sugar mills and were legitimate,” which Citibank accepted.

 

Date: August 1996

Participants: Paul Collins, Citibank Country Corporate Officer for Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto

Location: Probably Islamabad

Summary: Discussion regarding Citibank, the Pakistani economy, and regional economic and political developments.

 

Date: Fall 1996

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Benazir Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto, Sanam Bhutto, Dr. Bunyad Haider and others

Location: Waldorf Astoria, New York City

Summary: Discussion of Pakistani economy. Shaukat Aziz expressed condolences regarding the death of Benazir Bhutto’s brother. Following this meeting, Shaukat Aziz,

Benazir Bhutto and 20 others have dinner at the hotel.

 

[Nov 1996 Zardari arrested, for the second time, on charges of corruption.]

 

[Jan 1997 Citibank closed the Zardari accounts.

8 Sep 1997 Swiss government issued orders freezing the Zardari and Bhutto accounts at Citibank and three other banks in Switzerland, at the request of the Pakistani government.

 

5 Dec 1997 Citibank prepared a Suspicious Activity Report on the Zardari accounts and filed it with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the U.S. Department of Treasury. Note: So Citibank finally ‘notices’ suspicious activity – what took them so long???

 

Date: 1998

Participants: Shaukat Aziz, Shaukat Aziz’s wife, Benazir Bhutto, Dr. Bunyad Haider and his wife and several other couples

Location: The Haider’s New Jersey home

Summary: Meeting among Pakistanis in the New York area and Benazir Bhutto

 

[END]

 

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Source: PRIVATE BANKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING: A CASE STUDY OF OPPORTUNITIES AND VULNERABILITIES, Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, November 9 and 10, 1999. Pages 474-477.

http://www.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate12sh106.html

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“They who have put out the people’s eyes, reproach them of their blindness.” — –John Milton

 

 

 

 

Re: Pakistan’s Looted Treasury: Stashed in Swiss Citibank Accounts

« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 05:37:46 PM »

 

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How Citibank Laundered Asif Zardari’s Money

Posted: Nov 7, 2007 Wed 08:53 am

http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/64054/44106

 

In addition to Mr. Shaukat Aziz, current Prime Minister of Pakistan, numerous former Citibankers occupy highly influential positions in the government and the private sector in Pakistan.

 

Citibank is one of the largest banks, and operates one of the largest private banks in the US and globally. Of the 40 private banks reviewed by the Federal Reserve during its industry wide examination of private banking in the 1990s, only one — Citibank — was reviewed in detail by Federal Reserve examiners three years in a row. It is a private bank that has struggled with a wide range of anti-money laundering issues. Although Citibank, under Shaukat Aziz’s leadership (from May 1997 to October 1999) and his successors’ has done much to tighten controls, it was beset by numerous scandals during the 1990s.

 

A 1999 US Congress investigation (exact reference given at end) into Citibank, provides a fascinating inside look at how Citibank helped launder the ill-gotten gains of four high profile corrupt figures: Raul Salinas, brother of the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas, Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (reproduced below), El Hadj Omar Bongo, the elected president of Gabon since 1967, and Mohammed, Ibrahim, and Abba Sani Abacha, three sons of General Sani Abacha, who was the military leader of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998.

 

Of the four case histories provided in the Report, the following is a complete excerpt of the Case History for Asif Zardari. The report also provides photocopies of signed documents, banks records, etc. (listed below, at the end).

 

[Beginning of Excerpt]

(2) Asif Ali Zardari Case History

 

The Facts

The second case history involves Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto was elected Prime Minister in 1988, dismissed by the President of Pakistan in August 1990 for alleged corruption and inability to maintain law and order, elected Prime Minister again in October 1993, and dismissed by the President again in November 1996. At various times, Mr. Zardari served as Senator, Environment Minister and Minister for Investment in the Bhutto government. In between the two Bhutto administrations, he was incarcerated in 1990 and 1991 on charges of corruption; the charges were eventually dropped. During Ms. Bhutto’s second term there were increasing allegations of corruption in her government, and a major target of those allegations was Mr. Zardari. It has been reported that the government of Pakistan claims that Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari stole over $1 billion from the country.

 

During the period 1994 to 1997, Citibank opened and maintained three private bank accounts in Switzerland and a consumer account in Dubai for three corporations under Mr. Zardari’s control. There are allegations that some of these accounts were used to disguise $10 million in kickbacks for a gold importing contract to Pakistan.

 

Structure of Private Bank Relationship. Mr. Zardari’s relationship with Citibank began in October 1994, through the services of Kamran Amouzegar, a private banker at Citibank private bank in Switzerland, and Jens Schlegelmilch, a Swiss lawyer who was the Bhutto family’s attorney in Europe and close personal friend for more than 20 years. According to Citibank, Mr. Schlegelmilch represented to Mr. Amouzegar that he was working for the Dubai royal family and he wanted to open some accounts at the Citibank branch office in Dubai. Mr. Schlegelmilch had a Dubai residency permit and a visa signed by a member of the Dubai royal family. Mr. Amouzegar agreed to introduce Mr. Schlegelmilch to a banker in the Citibank branch office in Dubai.

 

According to Citicorp, Mr. Schlegelmilch told the Citibank Dubai banker that he wanted to open an account in the name of M.S. Capricorn Trading, a British Virgin Island PIC. The stated purpose of the account was to receive money and transfer it to Switzerland. The account was opened in early October 1994.

 

According to Citibank, Mr. Schlegelmilch informed the Dubai banker that he would serve as the representative of the account and the signatory on the account. Under Dubai law, a bank is not required to know an account’s beneficial owner, only the signatory. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Schlegelmilch did not reveal to the Dubai banker that Mr. Zardari was the beneficial owner of the PIC [Private Investment Company: an offshore company often used to launder money], and the account manager never asked him the identity of the beneficial owner of the account. Instead, according to Citibank, she assumed the beneficial owner of the account was the member of the royal family who had signed Mr. Schlegelmilch’s visa. According to Citibank, the account manager actually performed some due diligence on the royal family member whom she believed to be the beneficial owner of the account.

 

Shortly after opening the account in Dubai, Mr. Schlegelmilch signed a standard referral agreement with Citibank Switzerland private bank guaranteeing him 20% of the first three years of client net revenues earned by the bank from each client he referred to the private bank.

 

On February 27, 1995, Mr. Schlegelmilch, working with Mr. Amouzegar, opened three accounts at the Citibank Switzerland private bank. The accounts were opened in the name of M.S. Capricorn Trading, which already had an account at Citibank’s Dubai branch, as well as Marvel and Bomer Finance, two other British Virgin Island PICs established by Mr. Schlegelmilch, according to Citibank. Each private bank account listed Mr. Schlegelmilch as the account contact and signatory. Citibank informed the Subcommittee that the Swiss Form A, a government-required beneficial owner identification form, identified Mr. Zardari as the beneficial owner of each PIC.

 

Lack of Due Diligence. The decision to allow Mr. Schlegelmilch to open the three accounts on behalf of Mr. Zardari, according to Citibank, involved officials at the highest levels of the private bank. The officials were: (a) Mr. Amouzegar, the private banker; (b) Deepak Sharma, then head of private bank operations in Pakistan; (c) Phillipe Holderbeke, then head of private bank operations in Switzerland (who became head of the Europe, Middle East, Africa Division in February 1996); (d) Salim Raza, then head of the EMEA Division of the private bank; and (e) Hubertus Rukavina, then head of the Citibank private bank. Mr. Rukavina told the Subcommittee staff that when he was asked about opening the Zardari accounts, he did not make the decision to open them, but rather directed that the matter be discussed with Mr. Sharma. According to Mr. Rukavina, he never heard whether the accounts were ultimately opened. Mr. Rukavina left the private bank in 1996 and left Citibank in 1999.

 

Citibank informed the Subcommittee staff that the private bank was aware of the allegations of corruption against Mr. Zardari at the time it opened the accounts in Switzerland. However, Citibank reasoned that if the charges for which Mr. Zardari had been incarcerated for two years had any merit, they would not have been dropped. Bank officials also believed that the family wealth of Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari was large enough to support a large private bank account, even though Citibank was not able to specify what actions were taken to verify the amount and source of their wealth. Citibank said that bank officials were also aware of the M.S. Capricorn Trading account in Dubai, and they were comforted by the fact that there had been no problems with that account. According to Citibank, Mr. Amouzegar informed his superiors that Mr. Zardari was the beneficial owner of the Capricorn account in Dubai when they were considering the request to open the accounts in Switzerland. Inexplicably, however, the Dubai account manager was apparently still operating under the assumption that the beneficial owner of the Dubai Capricorn account was a member of the Dubai royal family. Subcommittee staff have been unable to determine whether Citibank officials were unaware of or inattentive to the serious inconsistency between Citibank Switzerland and Citibank Dubai with respect to the Capricorn Trading account. Citibank also informed the Subcommittee staff that bank officials had some concerns that if they turned down the accounts, their actions may have implications for the corporation’s operations in Pakistan; however, they said they never received any threats on that issue.

 

Citibank told the Subcommittee staff the private bank decided to allow Mr. Schlegelmilch to open the three accounts for Mr. Zardari on the condition that the private bank would not be the primary accounts for Mr. Zardari’s assets and the accounts would function as passive investment accounts. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Holderbeke signed a memo delineating the restrictions placed on the accounts, including a $40 million aggregate limit on the size of the three accounts, and transaction restrictions requiring the accounts to function as passive, stable investments, without multiple transactions or funding pass-throughs. None of the Citibank personnel interviewed by Subcommittee staff could identify any other private bank account with these types of restrictions. Other private banks interviewed by the Subcommittee staff were asked if they had ever accepted a client on the condition that certain restrictions be imposed on the account. The banks all said they had not. One bank representative explained that if the bank felt that it needed to place restrictions on the client’s account, it didn’t want that type of client. The existence of the restrictions are in themselves proof of the private bank’s awareness of Mr. Zardari’s poor reputation and concerns regarding the sources of his wealth.

 

Movement of Funds. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that, once opened, only three deposits were made into the M.S. Capricorn Trading account in Dubai. Two deposits, totaling $10 million were made into the account almost immediately after it was opened. Citibank records show that one $5 million deposit was made on October 5,1994, and another was made on October 6, 1994. The source of both deposits was A.R.Y. International Exchange, a company owned by Abdul Razzak Yaqub [since then, the owner of several ARY television channels that, incidentally, have been providing favorable coverage of Ms. Bhutto’s recent political activities], a Pakistani gold bullion trader living in Dubai.

 

According to the New York Times, in December 1994, the Bhutto government awarded Mr. Razzak an exclusive gold import license. In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Razzak acknowledged that he had used the exclusive license to import more than $500 million worth of gold into Pakistan. Mr. Razzak denies, however, making any payments to Mr. Zardari. Citibank could not explain the two $5 million payments. Ms. Bhutto told the Subcommittee staff that since A.R.Y. International Exchange is a foreign exchange business, the payments did not necessarily come from Mr. Razzak, but could have come from a third party who was merely making use of A.R.Y.’s exchange services. The staff invited Ms. Bhutto to provide additional information on the M.S. Capricorn Trading accounts, but she has not yet done so.

 

On February 25, 1995, a third deposit of $8 million was made into the Dubai M.S. Capricorn Trading account. Records show that the payment was made through American Express, with the originator of the account listed as “Morgan NYC.” Citibank indicated it does not know who Morgan NYC is, nor does it know the source of the $8 million.

 

All of the funds in the Dubai account of M.S. Capricorn Trading were moved to the Swiss accounts in the Spring of 1995. On March 6, 1995, $8.1 million was transferred; and on May 5, 1995, another $10.2 million was transferred. Both transfers involved U.S. dollars and were routed through Citibank’s New York offices. Citibank informed the Subcommittee staff that M.S. Capricorn Trading closed its Dubai account shortly after the last transfer was completed.

 

Citibank has indicated that significant amounts of other funds were also deposited into the Swiss accounts. As described below, the $40 million cap was reached, and millions of additional dollars also passed through those accounts. However, Swiss bank secrecy law has prevented the Subcommittee from obtaining the details on the transactions in the Zardari accounts.

 

Account Monitoring. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that, in 1996, the Swiss office of the private bank conducted a number of reviews of the Zardari Swiss accounts, finally deciding in October to close them.

 

The first review was allegedly in early 1996, triggered by increasing publicity about allegations of corruption against Mr. Zardari. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Messrs. Holderbeke, [Salim] Raza, Sharma and Amouzegar participated in the review, and apparently concluded that the allegations were politically motivated and that the accounts should remain open. The Subcommittee staff was told that the review did not include looking at the accounts’ transaction activity.

 

In March or April, 1996, Mr. Amouzegar asked that the overall limit on the Zardari accounts be increased from $40 million to $60 million, apparently because the accounts had reached the previously imposed limit of $40 million. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Holderbeke considered the request, but declined to increase the $40 million limit.

 

In June, press reports in the United Kingdom that Mr. Zardari had purchased real estate in London triggered still another review of the Zardari accounts. Citibank private bank told the Subcommittee staff that its Swiss office internally discussed the source of the funds for the property purchase. Mr. Amouzegar and Mr. [Salim] Raza then met with Mr. Schlegelmilch, who allegedly informed them that funds had been deposited into the Citibank accounts, transferred to another PIC account outside of Citibank and used to purchase the property. Mr. Schlegelmilch allegedly indicated the funds had come from the sale of some sugar mills and were legitimate. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff it is not sure if anyone at the private bank attempted to validate the information about the sale of the sugar mills. In addition, even though this account activity violated the condition imposed by Citibank that the accounts were not to be used as a pass through for funds, the accounts were kept open.

 

Closing the Accounts. In July 1996, after Mr. Amouzegar left the private bank to open his own company, another private banker, Cedric Grant, took over management of the Zardari accounts. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Grant began to review the Zardari accounts about one month later to familiarize himself with them. He also reviewed the transactions that had taken place within the accounts.

 

In September and October 1996, press accounts in Pakistan repeatedly raised questions about corruption by Mr. Zardari and Ms. Bhutto, as Ms. Bhutto’s re-election campaign increased its activities prior to a February election date. In September, Ms. Bhutto’s only surviving brother, Murtaza Bhutto, was assassinated, and Ms. Bhutto’s mother accused Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari of masterminding the murder, because the brother had been leading opposition to Ms. Bhutto.

 

In October, Mr. Grant completed his review of the Zardari accounts and provided a written analysis to Messrs. Holderbeke, Sharma and [Salim] Raza, according to Citibank. Mr. Grant had found numerous violations of the account restrictions imposed by Citibank, including multiple transactions and funding pass-throughs. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that the accounts had functioned more as checking accounts than passive investment accounts, directly contrary to the private bank’s restrictions. Apparently, well over $40 million had flowed through the accounts, though Subcommittee staff were unable to ascertain the actual amount because Swiss bank secrecy law prohibits Citibank from sharing that information with the Subcommittee. Citibank indicated that Mr. Amouzegar had either ignored or did not pay attention to the account activity. Mr. Grant recommended closing the accounts, and they were closed by January 1997.

 

[Note: In May 1997, Mr. Shaukat Aziz was transferred at Citibank’s New York headquarters, from his position as head of credit card operations to head of private banking. In November 1996, Mr. Farooq Laghari had dismissed the government of Ms. Benazir Bhutto-Zardari; and in February 1997, Mr. Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister.]

 

Legal Proceedings. On September 8, 1997, the Swiss government issued orders freezing the Zardari and Bhutto accounts at Citibank and three other banks in Switzerland at the request of the Pakistani government. Since Citibank had closed its Zardari accounts in January 1997, it took no action nor did it make any effort to inform U.S. authorities of the accounts until late November 1997. Citibank contacted the Federal Reserve and OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the banking supervision arm of the US Department of Treasury] about the Zardari accounts in late November, in anticipation of a New York Times article that eventually ran in January 1998, alleging that Mr. Zardari had accepted bribes, and that he held Citibank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland. On December 8 and 11, 1997, Citibank briefed the OCC and the Federal Reserve, respectively, about the accounts and the steps it had taken as a result of the Zardari matter. These steps included: closing all of the accounts that had been referred by Mr. Schlegelmilch to the private bank and terminating his referral agreement; reviewing all of the accounts opened in the Dubai office; and tightening up account opening procedures in Dubai, including requiring the Dubai office to identify the beneficial owner of all Dubai accounts. Citibank did not identify any changes made or planned for the Swiss office, even though the majority of the activity with respect to the Zardari accounts had taken place in Switzerland.

 

On December 5, 1997, Citibank prepared a Suspicious Activity Report on the Zardari accounts and filed it with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the U.S. Department of Treasury. The filing was made fourteen months after its decision to close the Zardari accounts; thirteen months after Mr. Zardari was arrested a second time for corruption in November 1996; and nearly two months after the Swiss government had ordered four Swiss banks (including Citibank Switzerland) to freeze all Zardari accounts.

 

In June 1998, Switzerland indicted Mr. Schlegelmilch and two Swiss businessmen, the former senior executive vice president of SGS and the managing director of Cotecna, for money laundering in connection with kickbacks paid by the Swiss companies for the award of a government contract by Pakistan. In July 1998, Mr. Zardari was indicted for violation of Swiss money laundering law in connection with the same incident. Ms. Bhutto was indicted in Switzerland for the same offense in August 1998. A trial on the charges is expected.

 

In October 1998, Pakistan indicted Mr. Zardari and Ms. Bhutto for accepting kickbacks from the two Swiss companies in exchange for the award of a government contract. On April 15, 1999, after an 18-month trial, Pakistan’s Lahore High Court convicted Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari of accepting the kickbacks and sentenced them to 5 years in prison, fined them $8.6 million and disqualified them from holding public office. Ms. Bhutto, who now lives in London, denounced the decision. Mr. Zardari remains in jail. Additional criminal charges are pending against both in Pakistani courts.

 

On December 11, 1997, Citicorp’s Chairman John Reed wrote the following to the Board of Directors:

 

“We have another issue with the husband of Ex-Prime Minister Bhutto of Pakistan. I do not yet understand the facts but I am inclined to think that we made a mistake. More reason than ever to rework our Private Bank.”

 

Mr. Reed told the Subcommittee staff that it was the combination of the Salinas and Zardari accounts that made him charge Mr. [Shaukat] Aziz [currently, Prime Minister of Pakistan], the new private bank head, with taking a hard look at the bank’s public figure policy and public figure accounts.

 

The Issues

The Zardari case history raises issues involving due diligence, secrecy and public figure accounts. The Zardari case history begins with the Citibank Dubai branch’s failure to identify the true beneficial owner of the M.S. Capricorn Trading account. As a result, the account officer in Dubai performed due diligence on an individual who had no relationship to the account being opened. In Switzerland, Citibank officials opened three private bank accounts despite evidence of impropriety on the part of Mr. Zardari. In an interview with Subcommittee staff, Citigroup Co-Chair John Reed informed the Subcommittee staff that he had been advised by Citibank officials in preparation for a trip to Pakistan in February 1994, that there were troubling accusations concerning corruption surrounding Mr. Zardari, that he should stay away from him, and that he was not a man with whom the bank wanted to be associated. Yet one year later, the private bank opened three accounts for Mr. Zardari in Switzerland. Mr. Reed told the Subcommittee staff that when he learned of the Zardari accounts he thought the account officer must have been “an idiot.”

 

Citibank has been unable to confirm that bank employees verified that Mr. Zardari had a level of wealth sufficient to support the size of the accounts that he was opening. In addition, the Swiss private banker took no action to validate the legitimacy of the source of the funds that were deposited into the account. For example, there was no effort made to verify the claims that some of the funds derived from the sale of sugar mills.

 

Citibank also performed no due diligence on the client owned and managed PICs that were the named accountholders. Because the PICs were client-created, the bank’s failure to perform due diligence on the PICs meant that it had no knowledge of the activities, assets or entities involved with the corporations. One of the PICs, Bomer Finance, has been determined to have been a repository for kickbacks paid to Mr. Zardari, and those kickbacks tainted funds deposited at the Geneva branch of Union Bank of Switzerland. Documentation has not been made available to determine whether Bomer Finance also used its Citibank account for illicit funds.

 

Another due diligence lapse was the private bank’s failure to monitor the Zardari accounts to ensure that the account restrictions imposed on them were being followed. When officials were presented with evidence in 1996 that the restrictions were being violated, they nevertheless allowed the accounts to continue.

 

The Zardari accounts in Switzerland were opened one day before Raul Salinas was arrested. The account was repeatedly reviewed in 1996, after the Salinas scandal became public. Yet there is no evidence that anyone in the private bank had been sensitized to the problems associated with handling an account of a person suspected of corruption.

 

The Zardari example also demonstrates the practical consequences of secrecy in private banking. Citibank claims that its decisionmaking in the Zardari matter cannot be fully explained or documented, since all Citibank officials are subject to Swiss secrecy laws prohibiting discussion of client-specific information. In light of the fact that U.S. banks are supposed to oversee their foreign branches and enforce U.S. law, including anti-money laundering requirements, this inability to produce documentation related to a troubling case again highlights the problems with U.S. banks choosing to operate in secrecy jurisdictions.

 

Pattern of Poor Account Management. The Zardari case history took place during a series of critical internal and federal audits between 1992 and 1997 of the Swiss office which, during most of that time, served as the headquarters of the private bank. The shortcomings identified in the audits included policies, procedures, and problems that affected the management of the Zardari accounts. They included:

 

* failure of the “corporate culture” in the Swiss office to foster ” ‘a climate of integrity, ethical conduct and prudent risk taking’ by U.S. standards”;

 

* inadequate due diligence;

 

* “less than acceptable internal controls”;

 

* lack of oversight and control of third party referral agents such as Schlegelmilch; and

 

* inadequate monitoring of accounts;

 

all of which resulted in “unacceptable” internal audit ratings. In December 1995, the Swiss office received the lowest audit score received by any office in the private bank during the 1990s. These audit scores indicate the office’s poor handling of the Zardari accounts was part of an ongoing pattern of poor account management.

 

[End of excerpt]

 

======

Source: MINORITY STAFF REPORT FOR PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS HEARING ON PRIVATE BANKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING: A CASE STUDY OF OPPORTUNITIES AND VULNERABILITIES, November 9, 1999

http://www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/110999_report.htm

 

The Report features as an annex to

S. Hrg. 106-248

PRIVATE BANKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING: A CASE STUDY OF OPPORTUNITIES AND VULNERABILITIES, Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, November 9 and 10, 1999.

This xiv+1114 pages report is available at:

http://www.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate12sh106.html

as TEXT [424KB] and as PDF [30MB] files

 

It provides (on page numbers indicated) the following:

Documents relating to Asif Ali Zardari:

 

a. Swiss Form A identifying Asif Ali Zardari as the

beneficial owner of the Capricorn Trading S.A.

account in the Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland

[600]…………………………………. 445

[Signed by “Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal House, Karachi

(Pak)”]

 

b. Wire transfer records documenting transfers of $18

million into Mr. Zardari’s Capricorn Trading S.A.

account in Dubai and transfers of $18.3 million out

of the Dubai account into the Capricorn Trading S.A.

account in Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland

……………………………………… 446

 

10/5/94 transfer of $5 million from A.R.Y. International

Exchange into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in

Citibank in Dubai [X6903-4];

 

10/6/94 transfer of $5 million from A.R.Y. International

Exchange into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in

Citibank in Dubai [X6900-2];

 

2/24/95 transfer of $8 million from Morgan NYC into the

Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai;

 

3/6/95 transfer of $8.1 million from the Capricorn

Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai into the

Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank Private Bank

in Switzerland;

 

5/3/95 transfer of $10.2 million from the Capricorn

Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai into the

Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank Private Bank

in Switzerland;

 

5/4/94 record of Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland

credit of $10.2 million to account of Capricorn Trading

S.A.

 

c. Mandate Agreement between Asif Ali Zardari and Jens

Schlegelmilch concerning Bomer Finance, Inc.

[601-2]………………………………… 466

 

d. Mandate Agreement between Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Jens

Schlegelmilch concerning Mariston Securities, Inc.

[603-4]………………………………… 468

 

e. British Virgin Islands Certificate of Incorporation

for Capricorn Trading S.A.

[605]………………………………….. 470

 

f. 6/29/94 letter from Cotecna Inspection S.A., stating

that if it receives a contract from the government of

Pakistan for the inspection and price verification of

imported goods, it will pay Mariston Securities, Inc.,

6 percent of the payments made under the contract

[597]………………………………….. 471

 

g. 12/11/97 communication from John Reed to Citibank Board,

including a discussion of the Zardari matter.. 472

 

h. List of meetings between Mr. Zardari and Citibank

personnel, provided by Citibank ………….. 474

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Bank Money Laundering –

Enormous By Any Measure

By James Petras

Professor of Sociology, Binghamton University

9-1-2

 

There is a consensus among U.S. Congressional Investigators, former bankers and international banking experts that U.S. and European banks launder between $500 billion and $1 trillion of dirty money each year, half of which is laundered by U.S. banks alone. As Senator Carl Levin summarizes the record: “Estimates are that $500 billion to $1 trillion of international criminal proceeds are moved internationally and deposited into bank accounts annually. It is estimated that half of that money comes to the United States”.

 

Over a decade then, between $2.5 and $5 trillion criminal proceeds have been laundered by U.S. banks and circulated in the U.S. financial circuits. Senator Levin’s statement however, only covers criminal proceeds, according to U.S. laws. It does not include illegal transfers and capital flows from corrupt political leaders, or tax evasion by overseas businesses. A leading U.S. scholar who is an expert on international finance associated with the prestigious Brookings Institute estimates “the flow of corrupt money out of developing (Third World) and transitional (ex-Communist) economies into Western coffers at $20 to $40 billion a year and the flow stemming from mis-priced trade at $80 billion a year or more. My lowest estimate is $100 billion per year by these two means by which we facilitated a trillion dollars in the decade, at least half to the United States. Including the other elements of illegal flight capital would produce much higher figures. The Brookings expert also did not include illegal shifts of real estate and securities titles, wire fraud, etc.

 

In other words, an incomplete figure of dirty money (laundered criminal and corrupt money) flowing into U.S. coffers during the 1990s amounted to $3-$5.5 trillion. This is not the complete picture but it gives us a basis to estimate the significance of the “dirty money factor” in evaluating the U.S. economy. In the first place, it is clear that the combined laundered and dirty money flows cover part of the U.S. deficit in its balance of merchandise trade which ranges in the hundreds of billions annually. As it stands, the U.S. trade deficit is close to $300 billion. Without the “dirty money” the U.S. economy external accounts would be totally unsustainable, living standards would plummet, the dollar would weaken, the available investment and loan capital would shrink and Washington would not be able to sustain its global empire. And the importance of laundered money is forecast to increase. Former private banker Antonio Geraldi, in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee projects significant growth in U.S. bank laundering. “The forecasters also predict the amounts laundered in the trillions of dollars and growing disproportionately to legitimate funds.” The $500 billion of criminal and dirty money flowing into and through the major U.S. banks far exceeds the net revenues of all the IT companies in the U.S., not to speak of their profits. These yearly inflows surpass all the net transfers by the major U.S. oil producers, military industries and airplane manufacturers. The biggest U.S. banks, particularly Citibank, derive a high percentage of their banking profits from serving these criminal and dirty money accounts. The big U.S. banks and key institutions sustain U.S. global power via their money laundering and managing of illegally obtained overseas funds.

 

 

 

U.S. Banks and The Dirty Money Empire

 

Washington and the mass media have portrayed the U.S. as being in the forefront of the struggle against narco trafficking, drug laundering and political corruption: the image is of clean white hands fighting dirty money. The truth is exactly the opposite. U.S. banks have developed a highly elaborate set of policies for transferring illicit funds to the U.S., investing those funds in legitimate businesses or U.S. government bonds and legitimating them. The U.S. Congress has held numerous hearings, provided detailed exposés of the illicit practices of the banks, passed several laws and called for stiffer enforcement by any number of public regulators and private bankers. Yet the biggest banks continue their practices, the sum of dirty money grows exponentially, because both the State and the banks have neither the will nor the interest to put an end to the practices that provide high profits and buttress an otherwise fragile empire.

 

First thing to note about the money laundering business, whether criminal or corrupt, is that it is carried out by the most important banks in the USA. Secondly, the practices of bank officials involved in money laundering have the backing and encouragement of the highest levels of the banking institutions – these are not isolated cases by loose cannons. This is clear in the case of Citibank’s laundering of Raul Salinas (brother of Mexico’s ex-President) $200 million account. When Salinas was arrested and his large scale theft of government funds was exposed, his private bank manager at Citibank, Amy Elliott told her colleagues that “this goes in the very, very top of the corporation, this was known…on the very top. We are little pawns in this whole thing” (p.35).

 

Citibank, the biggest money launderer, is the biggest bank in the U.S., with 180,000 employees world-wide operating in 100 countries, with $700 billion in known assets and over $100 billion in client assets in private bank (secret accounts) operating private banking offices in 30 countries, which is the largest global presence of any U.S. private bank. It is important to clarify what is meant by “private bank.”

 

Private Banking is a sector of a bank which caters to extremely wealthy clients ($1 million deposits and up). The big banks charge customers a fee for managing their assets and for providing the specialized services of the private banks. Private Bank services go beyond the routine banking services and include investment guidance, estate planning, tax assistance, off-shore accounts, and complicated schemes designed to secure the confidentiality of financial transactions. The attractiveness of the “Private Banks” (PB) for money laundering is that they sell secrecy to the dirty money clients. There are two methods that big Banks use to launder money: via private banks and via correspondent banking. PB routinely use code names for accounts, concentration accounts (concentration accounts co-mingles bank funds with client funds which cut off paper trails for billions of dollars of wire transfers) that disguise the movement of client funds, and offshore private investment corporations (PIC) located in countries with strict secrecy laws (Cayman Island, Bahamas, etc.)

 

For example, in the case of Raul Salinas, PB personnel at Citibank helped Salinas transfer $90 to $100 million out of Mexico in a manner that effectively disguised the funds’ sources and destination thus breaking the funds’ paper trail. In routine fashion, Citibank set up a dummy offshore corporation, provided Salinas with a secret code name, provided an alias for a third party intermediary who deposited the money in a Citibank account in Mexico and transferred the money in a concentration account to New York where it was then moved to Switzerland and London. The PICs are designed by the big banks for the purpose of holding and hiding a person’s assets. The nominal officers, trustees and shareholder of these shell corporations are themselves shell corporations controlled by the PB. The PIC then becomes the holder of the various bank and investment accounts and the ownership of the private bank clients is buried in the records of so-called jurisdiction such as the Cayman Islands. Private bankers of the big banks like Citibank keep pre-packaged PICs on the shelf awaiting activation when a private bank client wants one. The system works like Russian Matryoshka dolls, shells within shells within shells, which in the end can be impenetrable to a legal process.

 

The complicity of the state in big bank money laundering is evident when one reviews the historic record. Big bank money laundering has been investigated, audited, criticized and subject to legislation; the banks have written procedures to comply. Yet banks like Citibank and the other big ten banks ignore the procedures and laws and the government ignores the non-compliance. Over the last 20 years, big bank laundering of criminal funds and looted funds has increased geometrically, dwarfing in size and rates of profit the activities in the formal economy. Estimates by experts place the rate of return in the PB market between 20-25% annually. Congressional investigations revealed that Citibank provided “services” for 4 political swindlers moving $380 million: Raul Salinas – $80-$100 million, Asif Ali Zardari (husband of former Prime Minister of Pakistan) in excess of $40 million, El Hadj Omar Bongo (dictator of Gabon since 1967) in excess of $130 million, the Abacha sons of General Abacha ex-dictator of Nigeria – in excess of $110 million. In all cases Citibank violated all of its own procedures and government guidelines: there was no client profile (review of client background), determination of the source of the funds, nor of any violations of country laws from which the money accrued. On the contrary, the bank facilitated the outflow in its prepackaged format: shell corporations were established, code names were provided, funds were moved through concentration accounts, the funds were invested in legitimate businesses or in U.S. bonds, etc. In none of these cases – or thousands of others – was due diligence practiced by the banks (under due diligence a private bank is obligated by law to take steps to ensure that it does not facilitate money laundering). In none of these cases were the top banking officials brought to court and tried. Even after arrest of their clients, Citibank continued to provide services, including the movement of funds to secret accounts and the provision of loans.

 

 

 

Correspondent Banks: The Second Track

 

The second and related route which the big banks use to launder hundreds of billions of dirty money is through “correspondent banking” (CB). CB is the provision of banking services by one bank to another bank. It is a highly profitable and significant sector of big banking. It enables overseas banks to conduct business and provide services for their customers – including drug dealers and others engaged in criminal activity – in jurisdictions like the U.S. where the banks have no physical presence. A bank that is licensed in a foreign country and has no office in the United States for its customers attracts and retains wealthy criminal clients interested in laundering money in the U.S. Instead of exposing itself to U.S. controls and incurring the high costs of locating in the U.S., the bank will open a correspondent account with an existing U.S. bank. By establishing such a relationship, the foreign bank (called a respondent) and through it, its criminal customers, receive many or all of the services offered by the U.S. big banks called the correspondent.

 

Today, all the big U.S. banks have established multiple correspondent relationships throughout the world so they may engage in international financial transactions for themselves and their clients in places where they do have a physical presence. Many of the largest U.S. and European banks located in the financial centers of the world serve as correspondents for thousands of other banks. Most of the offshore banks laundering billions for criminal clients have accounts in the U.S. All the big banks specializing in international fund transfer are called money center banks, some of the biggest process up to $1 trillion in wire transfers a day. For the billionaire criminals an important feature of correspondent relationships is that they provide access to international transfer systems – that facilitate the rapid transfer of funds across international boundaries and within countries. The most recent estimates (1998) are that 60 offshore jurisdictions around the world licensed about 4,000 offshore banks which control approximately $5 trillion in assets.

 

One of the major sources of impoverishment and crises in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and the other countries of the ex-U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe, is the pillage of the economy and the hundreds of billions of dollars which are transferred out of the country via the corresponding banking system and the Private Banking system linked to the biggest banks in the U.S. and Europe. Russia alone has seen over $200 billion illegally transferred in the course of the 1990s. The massive shift of capital from these countries to the U.S. and European banks has generated mass impoverishment and economic instability and crises. This in turn has created increased vulnerability to pressure from the IMF and World Bank to liberalize their banking and financial systems leading to further flight and deregulation which spawns greater corruption and overseas transfers via private banks as the Senate reports demonstrate.

 

The increasing polarization of the world is embedded in this organized system of criminal and corrupt financial transactions. While speculation and foreign debt payments play a role in undermining living standards in the crisis regions, the multi-trillion dollar money laundering and bank servicing of corrupt officials is a much more significant factor, sustaining Western prosperity, U.S. empire building and financial stability. The scale, scope and time frame of transfers and money laundering, the centrality of the biggest banking enterprises and the complicity of the governments, strongly suggests that the dynamics of growth and stagnation, empire and re-colonization are intimately related to a new form of capitalism built around pillage, criminality, corruption and complicity.

 

James Petras is a Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. He is the author of 57 books. His latest, Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the New Millenium

 

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ZARDARI A US AGENT: GHINWA BHUTTO

 GHINWA BHUTTO ON CINEMA TICKET BLACK MARKETER ZARDARI’S TREASONOUS ACT: US ARMY TENDER FOR KARACHI AIRPORT BASE

M.KAYANI, RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN

 
 
US army has started preparations to land US forces in Karachi. This is NO joke!!! As Pakistan starts to collapse, The US army is aggressively building a Command and Control Center (TCOC) at Karachi airport to act as the forward base to seize and control the airport for US troops landings. Of course, the cover story is that the entire might of the US army is being deployed for anti-narcotics operations, as if we are all idiots here. US Marine Corp has also been practicing landing of Marine amphibians divisions on Makran coast just a few years back – again under the drama of anti-drug operations. Once the anarchy gets out of control in Karachi, a local political party would facilitate US military landing, just as NATO did in Libya. The last phase of the 5th GW being deployed aggressively.
For years, we had been warning the nation but those destined for punishment seldom do tauba.
 

 

TACTICAL COMMAND AND OPERATIONS CENTER (TCOC) AND GUARD SHACKS AT JINNAH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, KARACHI, PAKISTAN

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=a4d5d575585008238636c897fefa1ac1&tab=core&_cview=0

 

President Zardari a US agent: Ghinwa
 

 

KARACHI – Pakistan People’s Party-Shaheed Bhutto chief Ghinwa Bhutto said on Thursday that those raising voice for the creation of new provinces were speaking in the tone of the United States.

“Those presenting the resolution(s) for new provinces are in fact fulfilling American and Western agendas,” she asserted while speaking at Waqt News television’s programme “Awami Express”.

images-7The PPP-SB chief said they wanted to make the PPP a party of the people (as it stood in the past). The incumbent government was not of the Pakistani people but of the Americans, she said, and called President Zardari a US agent. “Whatever America wants, he does,” she added. According to her, the present PPP was not more than “a gathering of capitalists and feudal lords”. She regretted that the government had even snatched the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing from the general populace.

The PPP-SB chairperson refused to accept that the 1973 Constitution was in enforcement, and maintained that the system of Ziaul Haq was being run instead. She was of the view that the electorate did not have the liberty to cast their votes. “They are forced to obey feudal lords and capitalists. They are forced to do whatever these notables ask them.”

She said after coming to power, her party would restore the 1973 Constitution and make amendments to it in the larger public interest.

Ghinwa recalled that Mir Murtaza Bhutto had been assassinated during her sister’s regime as the country’s premier. “The courts released all accused after 15 years and disposed of the high-profile murder case,” she said with dismay, adding that now they were looking towards the high court for justice.

About the participation of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr and Fatima Bhutto in the country’s politics, the PPP-SB chief said they would not lead the people right now. “I do not want the heirs of ZAB to be part of this ‘dirty’ politics.” She, however, added that ZAB Jr and Fatima Bhutto would land in the political arena when the people got organised and wished to be led by them.

images-1Ghinwa refused to accept PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the heir to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

 

 

 

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