Late last month, the U.S. government proudly announced a deal to resolve charges against BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, for its prodigious violations of U.S. financial sanctions against Sudan, Iran, Cuba, and Burma. The bank agreed to pay a massive $8.9 billion fine and temporarily give up its ability to handle certain transactions in U.S. dollars. Although the case is yet another wholly lacking in individual prosecutions, many hailed (and some bemoaned) the punishment as unprecedentedly heavy—a strong statement of American intent to hold banks accountable for wrongdoing and a fair price to pay for a bank that would surely suffer grave damage to its reputation as well. But mere weeks later, it seems that the severity and persistence of BNP’s misconduct is all but forgotten, while the bank’s customers and investors have already returned to business as usual.
Following Several, Recent, High-Profile Cases Against International Banks for Violating U.S. Sanctions Against Iran, the Iranian Rial Lost 60% of its Value against the U.S. Dollar Last Week. Could There Be A Connection?
WASHINGTON, DC – The Iranian Rial tanked last week—plummeting 60% against the U.S. Dollar and triggering widespread domestic unrest—conspicuously in the wake of several, recent, high-profile legal actions against international banks for circumventing U.S. sanctions against Iran. In a new blog post on the website of the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) spokesman EJ Fagan suggests the two are likely connected.
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity applauded the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations today on this week’s hearing, “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History.” The hearing painted a picture of a bank that chose profit over protection, failing to apply legally mandated anti-money laundering protections to many of its accounts.
By Jeremy Haken, August 30, 2010
When you first hear about it, the trafficking of human organs sounds like a gruesome black-market practice, carried out by the shadowy characters of the global criminal underworld. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Just Google “organ trafficking” and you’ll see hundreds of pictures of people holding up their shirts to reveal long scars from where their kidneys have been removed. None of the people photographed look like your college roommate or the captain of the tennis team. None of them are reclined in a plush Manhattan parlor or smiling as they climb into the back of a town car. They’re usually sitting on the dirty city streets of developing countries or lying on hospital cots looking undernourished and desperate. Add to this image the unconfirmed reports of people being kidnapped for the express purpose of organ removal and the whole business just seems disgusting and hellish.
WASHINGTON, DC — The growing presence of Iran in Latin America is a threat to national security and demands greater scrutiny and action by the United States and Venezuelan’s Latin American neighbors was the message delivered by New York Country District Attorney Robert Morgenthau at a lunch briefing today at the Brookings Institution organized by Global Financial Integrity and the American Interest.
Remarks by Mr. Robert M. Morgenthau
New York County District Attorney
Event Hosted by Global Financial Integrity
I would like to thank the Brookings Institute for inviting me to speak today. The issues I will discuss with all of you are the blossoming relationship between what might seem unlikely bedfellows…. the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, whether we have a national security crisis looming on the horizon, and whether our national security and law enforcement communities are sufficiently focused on this threat.