By Vladimir Platov (New Eastern Outlook): 13 July, 2015
The UK National Crime Agency recently stated that “hundreds of billions of US dollars” are laundered through banks in the United Kingdom every year. London holds first place among world capitals with regard to the volume of drug trade and money laundering. Describing the global international drug trade network, Roberto Saviano, an Italian investigative journalist and author of Gomorrah, a book on the Neapolitan mafia, said a few days ago of the international drug trade that “Mexico is its heart and London is its head”. He also reminded readers of the British bank HSBC’s £1.2 billion fine for money laundering for a Mexican drug cartel in 2012.
The British HSBC Private Bank has been accused of facilitating money laundering and earned big profits handling secret accounts for arms dealers, dictators and blood diamond traffickers, according to materials released in February by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) from the non-governmental organization Transparency International. In recent years, in a number of cases relating to money laundering and tax evasion, criminal investigations into HSBC have been initiated by Argentine, Brazilian, Swiss and United States authorities. However, there has been no such investigation in the UK, where HSBC is headquartered and where it is the country’s biggest bank in terms of assets.