When to comes to banking scandals, the now infamous BCCI has ‘taken the biscuit’ as the saying goes. The Bank of Commerce and Credit International as it’s formally known had very well known names involved in it and not just at a savings qualification. There were quite a combination of recognised world elites to be involved with each other and BCCI. We are talking about the likes of George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger and Osama bin Laden to begin with.
Yes, they and more – more than the world will ever be allowed know – were all involved.
BCCI was founded in 1972 by a Pakistani banker called Agha Hasan Abedi. He started it up with initial amount of £2.5 million. In an inspiring piece of marketing, something I am trained and skilled in, he came up with the PR notion of making it out to be the “Third World Bank”. It’s proclaimed mission was to promote prosperity in the corners of the globe that Western banks ignored.
Repeatedly using astute marketing, contacts and operating with known faces way behind closed doors, within a decade it had a million depositors. It’s worth had increased substantially to the tune of $25 billion according to paperwork.
In reality the PR tag of “Third World Bank” tag was a gross over exaggeration. The operators of BCCI were very keen to break into North America. Branching out in the states began by the buying up of other banks and sucking them in. Beginning in 1977, these included four banks, including the First American Bank.
BCCI’s vigorous asset-buying in the foreground, hid the bank’s true financial status in the background. It was actually verging on insolvency but wasn’t going down anywhere without a fight. Any money BCCI was still making, it was coming from it’s already established continuing illegal activities.
By the mid-1980s the CIA, the US Internal Revenue Service and America’s Drug Enforcement Agency were respectively informing the US State, Treasury and Justice departments that BCCI was laundering drugs money. All their alarms were all ignored. Why? Maybe because some branches of the CIA itself were using BCCI for clandestine purposes – and they had ways of shutting the others down from progressing with their own received alarms.
All was going forward one way or another until 1987 when president Manuel Noriega of Panama was discovered to be among those using BCCI to launder drugs money. Pandora’s Box exploded open. Secrets could no longer be kept. The US Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations launched an investigation into BCCI under Senator John Kerry. When Kerry eventually delivered his report on “The BCCI Affair” to the Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, in December 1992, he recorded a catalogue of larceny by BCCI that ranged from narcotics trafficking to money-laundering. The CIA was found to be buried deep in the heart its antics.
You would think that such was the stink over BCCI that the US administration, White House included with its president, would be champing at the bit to close BCCI down. Not a jot!
Why? The reported story told in quiet circles and to those that are willing to look beyond elected cover stories and their PR, is that one of the companies which borrowed money from BCCI, Harken Energy, had on its board of directors one George W. Bush, the US president’s scion.
What the world was not meant to also discover was that BCCI lobbyists and advisers included Henry Kissinger’s consultancy, Kissinger Associates.
* The CIA, while openly doing their own PR, denouncing BCCI on the one hand for American viewers alone, was “floating in and out of BCCI” (Kerry) on the other hand. The CIA was possibly using the bank to run funds to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, and was definitely working to some unspecified end through BCCI’s affiliate, Capcom.
* Even Jimmy Carter and rainbow coalition leader Jesse Jackson were receivers of BCCI’s generosity.
* Other vast US luminaries individually had a vested interest in halting John Kerry’s investigation work – which is exactly what happened in 1989, when the Justice Department then oddly stalled his investigation.
According to Washington Monthly (LINK), personal pressure from no less than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was put on Kerry to desist. To Mr Kerry’s credit – sheer guts in the face of tremendous pressure – he refused to give up completely. He went to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau with irrefutable evidence that BCCI was handling the accounts of the Colombian Medellin drugs cartel and diverting funds to the terrorist Abu Nidal.
In 1990 the Bush (who was a member of the now infamous “Skull & Crossbones”, an also early CIA favoured elite group – LINK) administration gave BCCI nothing more than a considered rap over the knuckles. The Bush administration however, refused to close the bank down. Someone connected to the White House refused to close down something that was connected directly to further illegal activities of the CIA. Move along, there’s nothing dodgy at all here…
The job of eventually calling a halt to the antics of BCCI’s practices dropped into the remit of the UK’s Bank of England in July 1991.
There were certainly massive aided in being able to do this by usage of the Kerry’s report publication (now co-authored by Senator Hank Brown) in the following year. BCCI became openly indicted on huge charges of money-laundering, bribery and grand larceny.
The closing of BCCI however, did not prevent some of its now gained financial assets going walkies! $13 billion went missing. None of which went to the bank’s hard working, innocent lower staff or small investors (many with their life savings put in), the latter queuing fruitlessly to retrieve their deposits from BCCI branches.
There are no answers as to where the missing monies went, There was no rush by the White House and it’s minions to say – although there are hints by small reports that some of the bank’s bigger clients received larger than usual expected remunerations in the run-up to the collapse. Odd coincidence that, before it’s public official announced collapse!
A further investigation by the French intelligence service found that Osama bin Laden was a BCCI customer. It is said it’s within the bounds of possibility that Bin Laden (who also has previous CIA connctions) was among those who additionally benefited timely just before the last days of the BCCI criminal empire collapsing.
US Senator John Kerry’s investigation into BCCI was indeed deliberately blocked by vested state interests, including by those still not held to account in their behind closed door, buried role of US state department employees or elected representatives, right up to White House level.
BCCI or to be more accurate, those that were connected to it, could have still some tales and names to tell – should they dare to take on a US state spying, undercover working agency that in the past would think nothing about killing world leaders by various methods.
It’s though that the CIA has long now moved onto other methods of quiet funding their world antics – including the use of crypo-currency that many of it’s home country elected say they actually object to, as a means to operate financial transactions (as such methods are far harder to discover and then trace as they flow elsewhere).
The BCCI is gone. What has taken it’s place so that the antics of maybe allowed to continue, has yet to be more greater exposed! One thing we can be sure of. Many of those that availed of BCCI’s quiet coveted services, have not all closed up and just ceased to operate. Probably far from that notion.
Food for thought. Ask further questions – if you dare!
20 year barman. Re-educated as an I.T. professional, website creator, I.T teacher, digital media management & marketing professional. Studied accountancy, taxation, business management & law. Founder of UnitedPeople political party – click here. Previously the first National Chairman of Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) & founder of the Louth branch of DDI. Author. Regular contributor to social media. TV & radio guest experiences. Appeared in the Oireachtas & Dublin Highcourts to defend the rights of citizens along with exposing many wrongs. Consistently seeks greater democracy & accountability from all elected levels of Ireland. Currently writing two books, non-fiction “Life Behind Bars” & “Better Tomorrows“.