Lebanese Canadian Bank to Pay $102 Million in Hizballah Laundering Case

money-launderingby Abha Shankar:

 

Jihadists exploit Latin America to finance terror

imagesCAH4IYW8Money Jihad:

Latin America has experienced a possible increase in terror financing activities by radical Islamists throughout 2012.  Consider the developments that have been revealed this year:

  • In September, published reports indicated that a Hezbollah camp in Nicaragua is training 30 operatives and is laundering money.
  • The Venezuela chapter of Hezbollah is using Panama for bulk cash smuggling for follow-on transfer to Beirut.
  • Some goods, possibly even missile components, are being exported via Panama directly to Iran.
  • The use of the Venezuelan air carrier Conviasa to smuggle contraband through Africa to Europe earned it an “operational ban” from the EU in April.  Hezbollah profited from the Conviasa flights.  It is unclear whether the ban interferes with Conviasa’s African flights.
  • Cuba was listed again by the U.S. in 2012 as a state sponsor of terrorism partly for the continued safe haven Cuba provides to terrorist groups FARC and ETA.  Havana is now also letting IHH, the radical Islamist Turkish charity that has been banned by Germany for its financing of Hamas, build a mosque in Cuba.
  • A trio of Hezbollah agents in Mexico was exposed during an arrest of one operative who had previously been convicted in the U.S. for credit card fraud that funded terrorism.
  • Ecuador was blacklisted in June by FATF, the international financial watchdog, for failing to make progress against money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • In its annual report in July, the U.S. State Department said, “Brazil has not criminalized terrorist financing in a manner that is consistent with the FATF Special Recommendation II.”

Given its Western heritage and deep Catholic faith, Latin America can and should be a natural ally in the war against Islamic terror.  Its energy resources make it a natural counterweight to the oil powerhouse of the Middle East.

But this wonderful opportunity to present a united trans-American front against jihad is being jeopardized by attitudes of permissiveness, ignorance, and political correctness.  American politicians like Michelle Bachman and Connie Mack who recognize the threat are written off as know-nothing xenophobes.  But the news this year indicates that they are correct.

Action Alert: send your email urging the Comptroller of Currency to revoke HSBC’s bank charter

Florida Family Association

US Homeland Security Senate Subcommittee reports that HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is transferring funds to terrorists groups, Iran and drug cartels.

US Senator Carl Levin’s assessment “If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.”
  US Homeland Security Senate Subcommittee reports that HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is transferring funds to terrorists groups, Iran and drug cartels.

Click here to send your email urging the Comptroller of Currency to revoke HSBC’s bank charter.

Will Thomas Curry, President Obama’s March 2012 appointee as the new Comptroller of Currency (OCC), follow the bipartisan US Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee’s report recommending revocation of HSBC’s charter to operate as a bank in the United States?  Or will the OCC continue to permit HSBC to facilitate the transfer of funds to terrorist organizations, Iran and drug cartels?  HSBC is the abbreviation for Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

The United States Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report on July 16, 2012 which stated in part:

  • In 2010, HSBC was cited by its federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), for multiple severe AML deficiencies, including a failure to monitor $60 trillion in wire transfer and account activity; a backlog of 17,000 unreviewed account alerts regarding potentially suspicious activity; and a failure to conduct AML due diligence before opening accounts for HSBC affiliates.  Subcommittee investigators found that the OCC had failed to take a single enforcement action against the bank, formal or informal, over the previous six years, despite ample evidence of AML problems.
  • Circumventing OFAC Safeguards.  Foreign HSBC banks actively circumvented U.S. safeguards at HUBS designed to block transactions involving terrorists, drug lords, and rogue regimes.  In one case examined by the Subcommittee, two HSBC affiliates sent nearly 25,000 transactions involving $19.4 billion through their HBUS accounts over seven years without disclosing the transactions’ links to Iran.
  • Servicing High Risk Affiliates.  HSBC’s U.S. bank, HBUS, offered correspondent banking services to HSBC Bank Mexico, and treated it as a low risk client, despite its location in a country facing money laundering and drug trafficking challenges, high risk clients like casas de cambio, high risk products like U.S. dollar accounts in the Cayman Islands, a secrecy jurisdiction, and weak AML controls.  The Mexican affiliate transported $7 billion in physical U.S. dollars to HBUS from 2007 to 2008, outstripping other Mexican banks, even one twice its size, raising red flags that the volume of dollars included proceeds from illegal drug sales in the United States.

Bloomberg reported on July 25, 2012 HSBC Fined $27.5 Million in Mexican Money-Laundering Probe.  HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest bank, said its Mexican unit paid a $27.5 million fine to the nation’s regulators for non-compliance with money-laundering systems and controls.  The infringements relate to the late reporting of 1,729 unusual transactions and the failure to report 39 others, the London-based bank said in a statement today.  Click here to read the full report at Bloomberg.

Additionally, HSBC operates under strict Sharia supervision.  HSBC Amanah web site HSBCAmanah.com provides “Islamic Financial Solutions” with “Full Sharia Supervision.” HSBC which has extensive operations in the United States “is one of the Western world’s leaders in Sharia-Compliant Finance and was recently fined after having been revealed to have been a facilitator for terrorism financing, money laundering and narco-terrorism” according to Shariahfinancewatch.org

The United States Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee rebuked the OCC for their failure to act “In an age of international terrorism, drug violence in our streets and on our borders, and organized crime, stopping illicit money flows that support those atrocities is a national security imperative,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., subcommittee Chairman. “HSBC used its U.S. bank as a gateway into the U.S. financial system for some HSBC affiliates around the world to provide U.S. dollar services to clients while playing fast and loose with U.S. banking rules.  Due to poor AML controls, HBUS exposed the United States to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers cheques, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions.  The bank’s federal bank regulator, the OCC, tolerated HSBC’s weak AML system for years.  If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.”

If you bank with HSBC you are supporting one of the largest financial institutions in the world that support Sharia and transfer funds for terrorists.   There will be more alerts on this issue.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send that urges Thomas Curry, Comptroller of Currency (OCC) with the US Department of Treasury and his staff, to revoke the HSBC USA bank charter.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button.  You may now change the wording in the subject line or message of the email prepared for this action item.

Please click here to send your email urging Thomas Curry, Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and his staff, to revoke the HSBC USA bank charter.

Please forward this article to friends who you know would be interested in this information.

Contact information:

Thomas Curry, Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks Washington, DC 20219

thomas.curry@occ.treas.gov Comptroller of Currency

sally.belshaw@occ.treas.gov Deputy Comptroller Large Banks

michael.Brosnan@occ.treas.gov Senior Deputy Comptroller Large Bank Supervision

william.haas@occ.treas.gov Deputy Comptroller Midsize Bank Supervision

carlos.hernandez@occ.treas.gov Director for International Bank Supervision

regs.comments@occ.treas.govRegulation Comments

Email Subject Line:

HSBC currency violations warrant revocation of bank charter according to US Senate subcommittee.

Email Content:

I was alarmed to read the United States Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations July 16, 2012 report which found that “HSBC and its U.S. affiliate exposed the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering controls.”

It is difficult to comprehend why “The bank’s federal bank regulator, the OCC, tolerated HSBC’s weak AML system for years” as pointed out by Senator Carl Levin.

In is perplexing that “Foreign HSBC banks actively circumvented U.S. safeguards at HUBS designed to block transactions involving terrorists, drug lords, and rogue regimes” without swift response from OCC.

I wholeheartedly agree with Senator Levin’s assessment that “If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.”

HSBC’s multitudes of violations which threaten the health, safety and welfare of all Americans have gone on far too long.  I urge you to revoke HSBC’s bank charter.

******

Please forward this article to family and friends who are concerned about terrorism.

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Regulator: British Bank Laundered Billions for Iran Through New York

by IPT News  •  Aug 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

No Surprise Here: Useful Idiots at HSBC turned blind eye to terrorist money

SFW:

Regular readers of SFW know that we are no fans of HSBC.

After all, HSBC has been at the forefront of the financial jihad to facilitate Shariah-compliant finance on a global scale.

Moreover, HSBC employed the Jihadist monster Mufti Taqi Usmani as the chair of their Shariah Advisory Board. Then, when the heat over that relationship became too hot, they cynically replaced him…with his son. We detailed all of this over the past couple of years:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2009/02/27/hsbcs-shariah-man/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2010/03/09/mufti-taqi-usmani-no-longer-chief-of-hsbcs-shariah-advisory-board/

Given HSBC’s association with Jihadists like Usmani and their deep involvement with the promotion of Shariah, the fact that they have proven to be lax at compliance with counterterrorism money laundering laws and regulations should come as no surprise. That too is a topic that we have covered here on SFW:

Like the time that they were fined $1 billion for lax money laundering compliance:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/05/24/hsbc-to-be-fined-1-billion-for-lax-money-laundering-compliance/

In fact, there is no doubt that HSBC is the Western world’s chief enabler of Jihad and Shariah:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2012/05/04/hsbc-leading-western-enabler-of-financial-jihad/

On top of all this OLD news, we have fresh reports that HSBC has not learned its lesson at all. In fact, HSBC appears to have been hard at work doing the same things for which they have been fingered in the past. A report released yesterday by the US Senate details HSBC’s deplorable record when it comes to vigilance in the areas of terrorism and other nefarious activities. It almost seems as if HSBC was the bank of choice for evil when you read about their history and couple it with the Senate report.

The worst part and probably the biggest smoking gun that HSBC cannot dismiss these charges as simply a matter of carelessness? How about THOUSANDS of transactions involving the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of sanctions!

Again, this should come as no surprise. After all, Iran is the world’s most active state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism and also dominates the world of Shariah-compliant finance. Seems like a natural fit for the useful idiots (and perhaps worse) at HSBC:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/16/news/companies/hsbc-money-laundering/index.htm

 

Muslim US ICE Intelligence Officer Under Cloud of Suspicion over Financial Scam

Shariah Finance Watch: This news story proves the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

It seems that a US Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement intelligence officer has been embroiled in serious financial impropriety.

But wait, that isn’t even HALF the story. It gets much worse.

This intelligence officer is a former colonel in the Jordanian Air Force named Ahmed Abdallat. Abdallat started working for the US federal government way back in 1995 and has had access to all sorts of sensitive and classified documents and programs during his tenure. He has also been posted around the world, especially in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Most recently, Abdallat has been assigned to an intelligence post right on the US-Mexican border in El Paso, Texas, an area that has been given increasing scrutiny due to persistent reports of Hezbollah activity.

Abdallat is caught up in a fraud and money laundering scandal involving a Department of Homeland Security ICE official named James Woosley, who scammed the taxpayer systematically over a three-year period.

Law enforcement officials stealing is bad enough, but in our view, Abdallat’s involvement is the potentially much bigger story here. You see, we know that Woosely was using his ill-gotten gain to buy a new boat and a second home.

Not Abdallat.

Abdallat wired $570,000 to bank accounts in the Middle East. Maybe Abdallat was just sending his money overseas for himself. But maybe he was sending money overseas for an entirely different purpose…One thing we do know: Abdallat didn’t make anywhere near enough money off of his US government salary to explain over a half million dollars in wire transfers.

To make matters worse, when the FBI raided Abdallat’s home, they found two Jordanian passports, which he wasn’t supposed to have and they found evidence of several Middle Eastern bank accounts that Abdallat denied having…

There certainly seems to be more to this than just a bureaucrat who got greedy…All the focus of the media on this investigation seems to be on Woosley. We think more scrutiny should focus on Ahmed Abdallat.

What You Should Know About Shariah Compliant Finance

imagesCAAH0AXQFrom The Center for Security:

Shariah Finance Watch is a project of the Center for Security Policy‘s program to educate the public and policymakers about the dangers of Shariah. For a more in-depth look at Shariah, see Shariah: The Threat to America, a report by 19 top national security practitioners– including the former Director of Central Intelligence, the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Shariah: The Threat to America is available on paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.

Below are frequently asked questions about Shariah and Shariah-Compliant Finance, or Islamic Banking.

What is shariah?

Understanding Shariah law is integral to understanding the dangers of Shariah-compliant finance. Shariah law is Islamic law dating back to the 7th century and is today the law of the land in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and the law under which the Taliban operates.

Shariah law authorities, some of whom are now being paid handsomely by Barclays, Dow Jones, Standard & Poors, HSBC, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutschebank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse and others have the power to dictate Shariah compliance as deemed by “scholarly consensus” on matters of finance, family, penal law, apostasy, and war. Examples of authoritarian Shariah law include: requirement of women to obtain permission from husbands for daily freedoms; beating of disobedient woman and girls; execution of homosexuals; engagement of polygamy and forced child marriages; the testimony of four male witnesses to prove rape; honor killings of those, principally women, who have dishonored the family; death to apostate Muslims who chose to leave Islam; inferior status of non-Muslims, and capital punishment for those who “slander Islam.”

What are some of the risks of shariah-compliant finance?

National Security and Financial Risks: Islamists are attempting to impose Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) on Western institutions to use our own financial strengths against us. The most serious problem with SCF is that it legitimates and institutionalizes Shariah law (i.e., Islamic law), a theo-political- legal doctrine violently opposed to Western values. With $1 -$2 trillion petrodollars annually looking for an investment home, blind exuberance is driving financial institutions to adopt SCF, without even a minimal baseline for legal compliance. This willful blindness, and lack of both transparency and due diligence may cause SCF to be the next sub-prime crisis, but this time with deadly consequences.

Legal Risks: Western financial institutions which adopt SCF may have criminal and civil exposure to claims of aiding and abetting sedition and the material support of terrorism, securities fraud, consumer fraud, racketeering, and antitrust violations, as well as exposure to tort claims for sedition and terrorism, and for the violation of internationally recognized norms of the law of nations.

Terror Financing Mechanism: SCF as monitored by paid Shariah law advisors to U.S. banking institutions must “purify” certain return on investment (ROI) dollars that do not meet Shariah law standards. This money must be donated to Islamic charities – including some that promote Jihad and support suicide bombing. Investment disclosures state that these profits can be as high as 6% of profits of investments. With $800 billion already in SCF assets, the potential for billions of dollars to be siphoned off for terrorism is real. This would be a serious criminal violation of U.S. law.

Consider this example: Shariah Mutual Funds promote themselves as “ethical funds.” To be Shariah-compliant, they donate “tainted” revenues to Shariah-compliant “charities.” A post 9-11 U.S. investor in a Shariah-compliant “ethical investment” is not told that Shariah law also requires imposing Shariah as U.S. law, execution of gays and female apartheid. Is he a victim of consumer fraud? Is this same post 9-11 investor unwittingly funding terror? The government has shut down the three largest Shariah-compliant charities in the U.S. – the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation – after proving they funded terrorist organizations.The American taxpayer deserves answers to these questions. The Center for Security Policy (CSP) is meeting directly with members of Congress, U.S. regulatory agencies and Wall Street financial institutions in order to ensure the enforcement of existing U.S. laws on sedition, disclosure, material support of terrorism, and money-laundering. CSP is committed to revealing the civil liability and criminal exposure of Shariah law and Shariah-compliant finance.

How is shariah related to jihad?

The mu’amalat part of shariah mandates as a religious obligation, conducting violent jihad against non-Muslims to establish Islam’s rule worldwide in a form known as the caliphate.

How does shariah finance relate to shariah itself?

Shariah finance is indistinguishable from shariah itself, since its followers consider shariah immutable, indivisible, and mandatory for Muslims to follow in all aspects of life. Muslims are not allowed to pick and choose different aspects of shariah to follow. Anyone that infers that shariah finance is something apart from shariah is simply being dishonest. In fact, the main purpose of shariah finance is to promote shariah.

Where is shariah-compliant finance most prominent?

According to the November 2007 edition of The Banker, Iran dominates the world of shariah-compliant finance. Three of the five largest shariah-compliant financial institutions in the world—including the top two—are Iranian. The amount of shariah-compliant financial assets in institutions in Iran is over twice as large as the amount in financial institutions in the world’s second largest shariah-compliant country, Saudi Arabia.

How does shariah finance threaten Americans?

Shariah finance is a threat to Western values, human rights and US national security. Shariah finance has a political objective: to legitimize shariah in the West. Evidence indicates that shariah-compliant finance provides financial support to extremism and terrorism. Shariah-compliant financial institutions employ shariah scholars, many of whom have been shown to be extremists, even to the point of advocating suicide bombing and jihad against America. Among the decisions these scholars make is the donation of 2.5% or more of annual earnings to Muslim charities. Similar to zakat, earnings from investments that are judged to have been unislamic must be purified through donations to charities as well. Given the extremist tendencies of these scholars and the fact that no fewer than 27 charities have been designated as funding terrorism by the US Treasury Department, this presents a hazard which could obviously threaten US national security.

In sum, shariah finance represents a number of potential threats to the US, including possible financing of terrorism and extremist Islamist organizations and movements, infiltrating our financial markets and legitimizing shariah.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions been tied to terrorism?

There are a number of well-documented cases in which shariah-compliant financial institutions have participated in the financial support of terrorism. For instance, two shariah-compliant banks registered in the Bahamas, Bank Al-Taqwa and Akida Bank, were, according to the US Treasury Department, shell companies actually run out of Italy and Switzerland, whose only real business was laundering money to terrorists. From 1988 until November 2001 when it was designated a terrorist entity by the US government and the UN, Bank Al-Taqwa transferred tens of millions of dollars to HAMAS, Al Qaeda, the PLO, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Taliban, Egyptian Gama’a al Islamiya and the Tunisian An-Nahda.

In another case, prominent members of the Saudi royal family were co-investors with Osama Bin Laden in the Sudanese Shamal Islamic Bank while several designated terrorists maintained accounts there.

How have shariah-compliant financial institutions used charities to fund terrorist groups?

Generally, shariah-compliant financial institutions have provided funds to terrorist and extremist groups through Islamic “charities.” The financial institutions donate the money to the charities which then steer the funds to terrorist groups. For example, both Bank Al-Taqwa and Akida Bank used charities in Europe, the Middle East and the US to funnel money to terrorist groups.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions in the US been tied to terrorism?

Yes. Bait u Mal al Islami (BMI), a shariah-compliant investment company based in Seacaucus, NJ, which promoted itself as an Islamic alternative to conventional investments and solicited funds for real estate development, was called by US federal prosecutors as the “US banker for the Muslim Brotherhood.” In testimony before a US Senate committee, former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke said that BMI’s financial services were little more than a cover “to conceal terrorist support,” and that its investor list “read like a who’s who of designated terrorists and Islamic extremists.”

BMI worked closely with the Bank Al-Taqwa/Akida Bank network in transferring millions of dollars to terrorist groups through them, while receiving large amounts from well-known donors suspected of funding terrorism. These included the Hamas top leader, Mousa Abu Marzouk, who made a number of investments with BMI. Tellingly, BMI continued to work with Marzouk even after the latter was declared an internationally designated terrorist by the United States government in 1995.

How widespread is the use of Islamic charities to fund terror?

No one in the West knows for sure how widespread the use of Muslim charities for terrorism funding actually is, however, the US Treasury Department has so far designated no fewer than 27 Muslim charities in the US and worldwide as terrorism entities due to their funding of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, HAMAS and others.

We know that there is state sponsorship of terrorism. Is there state sponsorship of shariah finance?

State sponsorship of shariah finance has been ongoing since its inception with the founding of the first shariah-compliant bank in 1975, Islamic Development Bank (IDB). In Iran, which has more shariah-compliant institutions than any other nations, all of the banks are in fact state-run.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions been tied to weapons of mass destruction?

Yes. Iran’s largest bank, Bank Melli, which was named in the November 2007 edition of The Banker as the largest shariah-compliant bank in the world, has been put under sanctions by both the US government and the European Union for its role in financing Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

How does shariah finance threaten freedom-loving Muslims in the West?

The effect of legitimizing and promoting sharia in the West can already be seen in Western Europe. Promoting shariah incapsulates Muslim communities from mainstream society and even creates enclaves controlled by shariah. Shariah-compliant finance plays a particular role in this because, a devout Muslim living in a Western country in which there are no shariah-compliant banks are allowed to use conventional “infidel” institutions under the sharia doctrine of “extreme necessity.” However, once shariah-compliant institutions do exist, they are religiously obligated to patronize them exclusively. Thus, by allowing the spread of shariah finance in the West and the US, we are pushing Muslims toward shariah.

What can our government do to protect our markets from shariah finance?

There is much that the government can and should do to regulate sharia finance to ensure that it does not result in the promotion of sharia in the US and the financing of terrorism.

Visit the Shariah Finance Watch blog for the latest news on SFC