Global banks allowed dubious money transfers; Belarus opposition presses EU; China releases air attack video

The World
The skyscraper headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept. 21, 2020.

The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept. 21, 2020.

Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

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Global banks are back in the spotlight for their role in facilitating corruption, fraud and money laundering, as a trove of leaked documents provides evidence from many years of questionable transactions linked to money laundering, corruption and fraud at some of the most reputable financial institutions.

Published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and reporters at BuzzFeed News led by Jason Leopold, the “FinCEN files” report covers documents from 2011 to 2017, and says that some banks persisted in the illicit dealings even after being warned by US officials.

About 90 banks are named, including Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Standard Chartered and HSBC, in total amassing $2 trillion in transfers flagged by their own compliance checkers as dubious in mandatory filings with the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN.

Among the reasons that funds were deemed suspect were association with the Russian and Ukrainian governments, as well as implication in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (1MDB). Banks are legally obligated to submit suspicious activity reports to the US government of concerning transactions within one to two months, though such red flags may not always ultimately reflect illegal or criminal conduct.

What The World is following

The primary opposition leader from Belarus pressed the European Union to enact sanctions on officials in Minsk who allegedly helped rig last month’s presidential election. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya delivered her message to foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday, demanding more fervent support in the struggle for democracy against embattled President Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator.

Also, a simulated attack video released on the Weibo social media site by the Chinese air force appeared to show nuclear-capable, long-range H-6 bombers launching a missile at the US base on the Pacific island of Guam. The video, which observers noticed included scenes lifted from Hollywood films “The Hurt Locker” and “The Rock,” comes as Beijing continued with military drills near Taiwan in response to the recent visit to Taipei of a senior US state department official.

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In the end, it was a good day for this large deer. Environmental activists in France came to the aid of an exhausted stag who escaped hunters, forcing the hunters and their dogs to retreat. The anti-hunting group AVA is pushing for a national referendum to ban hunting with horses and hounds.

In case you missed it

Listen: Greece relocates thousands of migrants and refugees to new camp after fire

A young child is shown wearing shorts and a t-shirt walking past a barbed-wire fence and white UNHCR tents.

A child walks past tent shelters in a new camp set up by the Greek government for an estimated 12,000 people displaced by a fire that destroyed the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.


Lydia Emmanouilidou/The World

An effort is underway to relocate the approximately 12,000 migrants and refugees who have been camping in the streets of Lesbos into a new camp. And, 29 German police officers have been suspended for sharing pictures of Adolf Hitler and depictions of refugees in gas chambers on their phones. Also, an appreciation of the blues connection between Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré and Jimi Hendrix, who died of a drug overdose 50 years ago today in London.

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