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rollingrock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 04:36 PM
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BCCI: The Dirtiest Bank of All (Time article)
BCCI, or Bank of Credit and Commerce International

That was the cover story in the July 1991 issue of Time magazine.

A story that has to be seen to believed. I knew the BCCI was at the center of the Iran/Contra scandal, but had no idea how dirty and corrupt they actually were until I came across this old article. Their criminal dealings went far beyond Iran/Contra. It was probably the biggest scandal of the 20th century, and the Reagan/Bush administration did everything in their power to thwart the investigation of the bank and cover it up. I wonder if companies like AIG and Goldman Sachs have since adopted the dirty methods of the BCCI to loot the US treasury after laying the groundwork for the collapse of the US housing market? Was the criminal enterprise known as the BCCI the predecessor of today's Goldman Sachs and AIG?


BCCI: The Dirtiest Bank of All

By JONATHAN BEATY and S.C. GWYNNE NEW YORK;Cathy Booth/Miami, Jay Branegan/Hong Kong and Helen Gibson/London Monday, Jul. 29, 1991

Time magazine

"I could tell you what you want to know, but I must worry about my wife and family -- they could be killed."

-- a former top B.C.C.I. officer

"We better not talk about this over the phone. We've found some bugs in offices that haven't been put there by law enforcement."

-- a Manhattan investigator probing B.C.C.I.

Bank-fraud cases are usually dry, tedious affairs. Not this one. Nothing in the history of modern financial scandals rivals the unfolding saga of the Bank of Credit & Commerce International, the $20 billion rogue empire that regulators in 62 countries shut down early this month in a stunning global sweep. Never has a single scandal involved so much money, so many nations or so many prominent people.

Superlatives are quickly exhausted: it is the largest corporate criminal enterprise ever, the biggest Ponzi scheme, the most pervasive money-laundering operation and financial supermarket ever created for the likes of Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos, Saddam Hussein and the Colombian drug barons. B.C.C.I. even accomplished a Stealth-like invasion of the U.S. banking industry by secretly buying First American Bankshares, a Washington-based holding company with offices stretching from Florida to New York, whose chairman is former U.S. Defense Secretary Clark Clifford.

But B.C.C.I. is more than just a criminal bank. From interviews with sources close to B.C.C.I., TIME has pieced together a portrait of a clandestine division of the bank called the "black network," which functions as a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the bank's offices in Karachi, Pakistan, the 1,500-employee black network has used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping and even, by some accounts, murder. The black network -- so named by its own members -- stops at almost nothing to further the bank's aims the world over.

The more conventional departments of B.C.C.I. handled such services as laundering money for the drug trade and helping dictators loot their national treasuries. The black network, which is still functioning, operates a lucrative arms-trade business and transports drugs and gold. According to investigators and participants in those operations, it often works with Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. The strange and still murky ties between B.C.C.I. and the intelligence agencies of several countries are so pervasive that even the White House has become entangled. As TIME reported earlier this month, the National Security Council used B.C.C.I. to funnel money for the Iran-contra deals, and the CIA maintained accounts in B.C.C.I. for covert operations. Moreover, investigators have told TIME that the Defense Intelligence Agency has maintained a slush-fund account with B.C.C.I., apparently to pay for clandestine activities.

But the CIA may have used B.C.C.I. as more than an undercover banker: U.S. agents collaborated with the black network in several operations, according to a B.C.C.I. black-network "officer" who is now a secret U.S. government witness. Sources have told investigators that B.C.C.I. worked closely with Israel's spy agencies and other Western intelligence groups as well, especially in arms deals. The bank also maintained cozy relationships with international terrorists, say investigators who discovered suspected terrorist accounts for Libya, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization in B.C.C.I.'s London offices.

The bank's intelligence connections and alleged bribery of public officials around the world point to an explanation for the most persistent mystery in the B.C.C.I. scandal: why banking and law-enforcement authorities allowed the bank to spin out of control for so long.

In the U.S. investigators now say openly that the Justice Department has not only reined in its own probe of the bank but is also part of a concerted campaign to derail any full investigation. Says Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, who first launched his investigations into B.C.C.I. two years ago: "We have had no cooperation from the Justice Department since we first asked for records in March 1990. In fact they are impeding our investigation, and Justice Department representatives are asking witnesses not to cooperate with us."

B.C.C.I. was started in 1972 with the putative mission of becoming the Muslim world's first banking powerhouse. Though it was incorporated in Luxembourg and headquartered in London, had more than 400 branches and subsidiaries around the world and was nominally owned by Arab shareholders from the gulf countries, B.C.C.I. was always a Pakistani bank, with its heart in Karachi. Agha Hasan Abedi, the bank's founder and leader until his ouster last year, is a Pakistani, as are most of the bank's former middle managers. And it was in Pakistan that the bank's most prodigiously corrupt division was spawned.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the resulting strategic importance of neighboring Pakistan accelerated the growth of B.C.C.I.'s geopolitical power and its unbridled use of the black network. Because the U.S. wanted to supply the mujahedin rebels in Afghanistan with Stinger missiles and other military hardware, it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan, across whose border the weapons would be shipped. By the mid-1980s, the CIA's Islamabad operation was one of the largest U.S. intelligence stations in the world. "If B.C.C.I. is such an embarrassment to the U.S. that forthright investigations are not being pursued, it has a lot to do with the blind eye the U.S. turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan," says a U.S. intelligence officer.

The black network was a natural outgrowth of B.C.C.I.'s dubious and criminal associations. The bank was in a unique position to operate an intelligence- gathering unit because it dealt with such figures as Noriega, Saddam, Marcos, Peruvian President Alan Garcia, Daniel Ortega, contra leader Adolfo Calero and arms dealers like Adnan Khashoggi. Its original purpose was to pay bribes, intimidate authorities and quash investigations. But according to a former operative, sometime in the early 1980s the black network began running its own drugs, weapons and currency deals....

...continued, 8 pages,9171,973481-6,00.h...


The founding of the BCCI under CIA director George H.W. Bush:

1976: CIA and Other Intelligence Agencies Use BCCI to Control and Manipulate Criminals and Terrorists Worldwide

Agha Hasan Abedi.Agha Hasan Abedi. <Source: Terry Kirk / Financial Times>Investigative journalist Joseph Trento will later report that in 1976, the Safari Club, a newly formed secret cabal of intelligence agencies (see September 1, 1976-Early 1980s), decides it needs a network of banks to help finance its intelligence operations. Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal Adham is given the task. With the official blessing of George H. W. Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history. BCCI was founded in 1972 by a Pakistani named Agha Hasan Abedi, who was an associate of Adhams. Bush himself has an account at BCCI established while still director of the CIA. French customs will later raid the Paris BCCI branch and discover the account in Bushs name. <Trento, 2005, pp. 104> Bush, Adham, and other intelligence heads work with Abedi to contrive a plan that seemed too good to be true. The bank would solicit the business of every major terrorist, rebel, and underground organization in the world. The intelligence thus gained would be shared with friends of BCCI. CIA operative Raymond Close works closely with Adham on this. BCCI taps into the CIAs stockpile of misfits and malcontents to help man a 1,500-strong group of assassins and enforcers. <Trento, 2005, pp. 104> Soon, BCCI becomes the fastest growing bank in the world. Time magazine will later describe BCCI as not just a bank, but also a global intelligence operation and a Mafia-like enforcement squad. Operating primarily out of the banks offices in Karachi, Pakistan, the 1,500-employee black network has used sophisticated spy equipment and techniques, along with bribery, extortion, kidnapping and even, by some accounts, murder. The black networkso named by its own membersstops at almost nothing to further the banks aims the world over. <Time, 7/22/1991>

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. If BCCI matters were fully revealed BushInc would be behind bars today and a 9-11 event would NEVER
Edited on Mon Oct-19-09 04:45 PM by blm
have happened because all the global terror networks that were being funded and nurtured by BCCI's web of fascist financiers would have received the fuller exposure needed.

Kerry turned over his BCCI report in Dec 1992, expecting further scrutiny - instead many of the matters continued to be stonewalled and deepsixed throughout the 90s.

Thanks Bill. Jackson Stephens went to his grave protected by you. So will Poppy Bush.
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rollingrock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. 'Bush crime family'
the roots of their family business go way back to the days of poppy Bush and far back as World War 2 when Prescott Bush's Union Bank financed arms sales and money-laundered for the Nazis well after the US entered the war.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. and freepers are so underinformed they believe these people are patriots....
they are fascist monsters.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R....

the Justice Dept. itself has been involved with the PROMIS software scandal. PROMIS software provided an interconnected database of criminals and suspects, and was later modified to provide a backdoor into financial institutions for money laundering or other purposes. The more tinfoil theories give PROMIS almost supernatural artifical intelligence capabilities, but the important thing to know is: identifying key criminals and how to pay them off, or how to transfer funds behind the backs of law enforcement.


In early 1999, the British journalist and author, Gordon Thomas, published an authorized history of the Israeli Mossad titled Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad. The book quotes detailed admissions by the former long-time deputy-director of the Mossad, Rafi Eitan, about the partnership between Israeli and U.S. intelligence in selling to foreign intelligence agencies in excess of $500 million worth of licenses to a trojan horse version of Promis, in order to spy on them.<23>

In 2001, the Washington Times and Fox News each quoted federal law enforcement officials familiar with debriefing former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen as claiming that the convicted spy had stolen copies of a Promis-derivative for his Soviet KGB handlers.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Kerry and some journalists made PERMANENT ENEMIES when they forced BCCI into the open.
BushInc and a few powerful Dems who carried their water for them will never end their targetting of them because BCCI's underlying agenda just went further underground in the 90s and some of it came back flying jets into NYC buildings.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. And some friends, too.
"Got your back."
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Which reminds me....
have you sent any of your material to Doug Frantz? He's been quietly tracking (or trying to track and being stonewalled by Swiss officials and various powerplayers) Khan's endless funding trail.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. He's most likely seen some of it. Do a GOOGLE search of this subject, and
Edited on Wed Oct-21-09 03:32 AM by leveymg
my materials here and at DailyKos appear high in the results. DU has a surprisingly large footprint on GOOGLE, which is part of the reason I continue posting here.

I suspect with Frantz, it's one of those if he's interested, "we'll call you - don't call us - don't quit your day job" sort of things. I'm not quiting my day job.

I have to say, of late, the mood on the progressive boards has verged on the hysterical. The shitstorm that has attended the Healthcare reform process has been most discouraging. There are 15 competing versions of reality bouncing around that makes sensible discussion of that "real-world" topic difficult -- stirring up the shit is an uncontrolled infestation of trolls like I've never seen before. The Unrec feature has not been helpful to discussion of controversial subjects, in my opinion. Admin needs to seriously consider the direction this is going or they're going to lose some long-time members.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yeah - the hysterical tends to ruin it for those serious about these matters.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. BCCI was the Bank that Bush set up to launder Saudi money for black operations inside the US
and around the world.

BCCI was a small Luxembourg Bank founded by a Pakistani. In 1976, it was transformed into the funding vehicle for the Safari Club arrangement which then-CIA Director Bush set up in '76 to allow Saudi Arabian intelligence to fund intelligence operations that Congress had banned after the Church Committee exposed CIA assassinations, domestic political dirty tricks and other crimes. BCCI went on to fund a wide variety of covert ops, including the Pakistani nuclear program, Jihadist paramilitaries, the takeover of American banks and S&Ls, and the wholesale buying of political influence in the US, UK and around the world.

After his resignation as CIA Director in 1977, Bush Sr. went back to banking as Director of First International Bancshares, the Luxembourg affiliate of a Texas bank owned by Joe Albritton, who would go on to take over Riggs Bank, install Jonathon Bush as a Director, and turn that bank into a conduit for Saudi financed terrorism. Riggs was shut down after it was revealed that the 9/11 hijackers had been funded by Riggs accounts held in the name of the wife of Saudi Ambassador and old Bush-family friend Prince Bandar.

Been writing about this for years. See,
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