The hidden connections of a British bank with terrorist funding – What you need to know

A British bank, Standard Chartered, managed to avoid prosecution for money laundering, but US court papers allege that the bank carried out billions of dollars of transactions for funders of terrorist groups. According to the court documents, the bank processed thousands of transactions worth more than $100 billion from 2008 to 2013 in violation of sanctions against Iran. An independent expert has identified $9.6 billion worth of foreign exchange transactions with individuals and companies designated by the US government as funding “terror groups” like Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.

The allegations suggest that the bank falsified transaction data to move billions of dollars through its New York branch on behalf of sanctioned entities, including the Central Bank of Iran. The intervention by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time, saved the bank from prosecution back in 2012. However, new evidence presented in court filings reveal hidden transactions involving terrorist organizations that were not previously disclosed to the regulatory authorities.

The expert analysis contradicts the claims made by the US authorities, indicating that the bank conducted transactions for Iranian banks, companies, and money exchanges that finance designated foreign terrorist organizations. It also includes dealings with entities like a Pakistani fertiliser company known for providing materials used by the Taliban in roadside bombs.

The bank, with its headquarters in London, serves customers mostly in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Despite the hefty fines paid in the past for breaching sanctions, the recent revelations paint a dire picture of the bank’s involvement with terrorist funding. The documents allege that the bank facilitated transactions for a Gambian front company owned by a key Hezbollah financier.

This recent development has shocked many, with experts calling it “exponentially worse” than what was previously admitted by the bank. Both the FBI and US Department of Justice have remained tight-lipped about the matter. The bank, on the other hand, expressed confidence that the courts will reject the claims, stating that US authorities had already deemed the whistleblowers’ claims as “meritless”. Nonetheless, the whistleblowers stand by their allegations, accusing the US authorities of perpetrating a massive fraud by denying the evidence they provided.