Posts Tagged ‘Royal Bank of Scotland’

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High-risk men max out credit cards before Middle East travel

April 20, 2015

Over one hundred “very high-risk” account holders have borrowed the maximum amount of money they could from their bank before traveling to countries neighboring Iraq and Syria.  Presumably this means Turkey and perhaps Lebanon or Jordan.  Typically those are the places ISIS recruits from the West fly into before crossing the border by ground into Syria or Iraq.  The credit card accounts have gone dormant and the debts will never be paid back.

Thanks to Gisele for sending this news in about debt-financed travel for jihad from QMI via the Toronto Sun:

114 ‘high-risk’ Canadians bilked RBC before leaving for areas near conflict zones

The Royal Bank of Canada has identified 114 clients as “very high-risk” for maxing out their credit cards before travelling to countries near Syria and Iraq, QMI Agency has learned.

Before leaving Canada, the clients borrowed the maximum amount of money allowed on their credit cards or lines of credit, a senior RBC vice president, Karim Rajwani, told participants during a webinar earlier this year.

QMI Agency obtained the audio recording.

The webinar was organized for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing professionals in the banking industry.

Rajwani, a world expert in the fight against terrorist financing, says he discreetly shared his information with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.

None of the 114 clients paid off their debts and their accounts have been inactive since they left the country, he added.

“We aren’t saying that these people are terrorists, just very high-risk individuals,” Rajwani noted.

“They get a line of credit and they leave. We see a few transactions in overseas ATMs in countries neighbouring areas controlled by the Islamic State, and after that they disappear”…

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Lawsuit: sanctions evasion helped kill U.S. troops

November 30, 2014

Many of the attacks during the Iraq insurgency that left over 4,000 American troops dead were carried out by Sunni militants funded by and aligned with Al Qaeda, former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Gulf monarchies, or combinations of all three. But a new lawsuit by veterans and the families of our war dead is pointing out that a lot of the killing of coalition forces also came from Shia terrorists trained and funded by Iran. Iran was able to fund the trainers of those terrorists partly because of Iran’s access at the time to the international financial system as allowed by major banks with branches in the U.S. despite the sanctions against Iran throughout the 2000s.

From Reuters earlier this month (h/t El Grillo):

U.S. veterans sue banks, claim they should pay for Iraq attacks

Wounded U.S. veterans and family members of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq sued five European banks on Monday, seeking to hold them responsible for shootings and roadside bombings because they allegedly processed Iranian money that paid for the attacks.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, named Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Standard Chartered.

Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBS and Standard Chartered declined to comment. HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was brought under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, a 1992 law that permits victims to bring private suits against alleged financiers of militant operations.

The lawsuit alleges the banks conspired with Iranian banks to mask wire transactions in order to evade U.S. sanctions. The Iranian banks then funneled more than $100 million to militant groups that operated in Iraq at Iran’s direction, according to the suit.

The militant groups included a Shi’ite militia in Iraq, Kataib Hezbollah, as well as Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the suit says.

Since 2009, the five banks have agreed to pay about $3.2 billion to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that they handled money in violation of sanctions against nations such as Iran, Libya and Cuba. All the banks signed deferred prosecution agreements with the U.S. Justice Department in addition to settlements with U.S. banking regulators…

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Great Scot! RBS fined half a billion dollars

May 23, 2010

ABN Amro, a Dutch bank that was bought out by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has settled with the U.S. for violating American law.  Customers and banks affiliated with Cuba, the Sudan, Libya, and Iran channeled money illegally through the U.S. financial system with the assistance of ABN Amro.

Although no Western bank should do what ABN Amro (or Lloyds) has done, it’s unfortunate that only ABN Amro will pay.  Ultimately, it is the sanctioned countries themselves—especially Iran—that must be held to account for their persistent campaign to infiltrate our banks and circumvent U.S. sanctions.  ABN and RBS will be out of cash while Iran gets off “Scot” free.

From Reuters via ABC News:

LONDON – U.S. prosecutors have accused ABN Amro, now largely part of Royal Bank of Scotland , of turning a “blind eye” to U.S. laws, using special procedures to bypass U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran and other countries.

RBS, part of a trio of banks that bought ABN in 2007, said on Monday the consortium had agreed to a $500 million fine as part of a final settlement with U.S. authorities. The payment was covered by the provision made before ABN was bought.

In the latest of a series of fines levied by the United States on banks in connection with money laundering offences, ABN was charged with one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and a second of conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating laws including the Trading with the Enemy Act.

It involved transactions on behalf of customers from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and other sanctioned countries.

“ABN Amro facilitated the movement of illegal money through the U.S. financial system by stripping information from transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.

According to court documents, for a decade until 2005 and, in a limited way, through to 2007, offices, branches, affiliates and subsidiaries of ABN removed or altered names and references to sanctioned countries from payment messages.

The stripping procedures, which also applied to traveler’s checks and letters of credit, allowed the bank to circumvent U.S. controls and pass undetected through filters at U.S. banks.

Prosecutors said the scheme allowed U.S. sanctioned countries to move “hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system”.

ABN’s New York branch saw more than $3.2 billion from shell companies and “high risk transactions” flow through it…