Money Laundering Current Affairs - 2020

British Tax authorities probing charges against HSBC

image The British tax authorities launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering against HSBC.

  • HSBC Bank has been accused of opening offshore bank accounts in Jersey for serious criminals living in Britain.
  • This move from British Tax authorities came after a whistleblower was secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and bank accounts of HSBC’s alleged clients.
  • These were said to include names of several people with criminal convictions, including gun-runners and drug dealers.

Contrast with India

  • Observers are contrasting the prompt action taken by British authorities with the Indian government’s response to similar allegations against HSBC involving Indian clients, where Indian government took no action against HSBC when India Against Corruption (IAC) charged HSBC for alleged involvement in Hawala (Money Laundering).
  • Also, Indian Govt took no action since more than a year after the French government gave India a CD containing names of 700 Indian clients who had accounts in HSBC’s Geneva branch.

Arvind Kejriwal: HSBC Bank running ‘hawala’ (money laundering) transactions

  • India Against Corruption (IAC) charged HSBC Bank with unning ‘hawala’ (money laundering) transactions. IAC members alleged that Mukesh and Anil Ambani among others, had crores of rupees sitting in Swiss banks.   image
  • Those named were part of the list of 700 people who had accounts with HSBC banks in Switzerland. The list was shared by the French government with India, which, however, did not reveal any name, and the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.