Leaked documents involving about $2tn of transactions have revealed how some of the world’s biggest banks have allowed criminals to move dirty money around the world, the BBC reports.
The FinCEN Files are a leak of 2,657 documents, at the heart of which are 2,100 suspicious activity reports, or SARs filed by financial institutions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency, or FinCEN, a part of the US Treasury Department.
These documents are some of the international banking system’s most closely guarded secrets.
Banks use them to report suspicious behaviour but they are not proof of wrongdoing or crime.
They were leaked to Buzzfeed News and shared with a group that brings together investigative journalists from around the world.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BuzzFeed News and 108 other media partners in 88 countries spent 16 months organizing and analyzing leaked documents, and obtaining hundreds of other confidential documents, court records, archives, public records, and interviews.
The leak shows how money was laundered through some of the world’s biggest banks, including HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, United Arab Emirates’ central bank, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered.