Isnin, 2 Mei 2016
DARI NEW YORK
The multibillion-dollar state fund scandal in Malaysia that ensnared Goldman Sachs and Tim Leissner — the bank’s former star banker in Southeast Asia — is greasing the wheels of an escalating hunt for a massive treasure trove of hidden wealth worldwide, The Post has learned.
International regulators across Asia and Europe as well as in the States, aware of the scandal’s public fallout, are ratcheting up pressure to rein in alleged money-laundering activities to hide the cache.
In a hard-hitting speech this month, Mark Branson, chief executive of Swiss watchdog Finma, said his agency has tackled several money-laundering cases and investigated 20 banks in hot pursuit of the controversial Malaysian state development fund 1MDB and Brazil’s tainted Petrobras.
“And we are talking here not about small fry, but what looks like blatant and massive corruption,” he said. Branson said money laundering is a global phenomenon, citing a startling UN estimate: Up to 5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product per year is criminally money-laundered through the financial system.
Gabriel Zucman, a University of California, Berkeley, economics professor, estimates as much as $7.6 trillion in wealth is hidden in offshore accounts.
Only about 20 percent is reported, and the sums are growing, the professor calculates.
“The leaked database from Panama is just the latest proof of how money flows like water through multiple jurisdictions, sometimes for legitimate purposes, sometimes not,” Branson said.
In the case of Malaysia alone, as much as $6 billion may have been funneled illegally from 1MDB to the accounts of parties that included Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, according to reports. And it is only the tip of the monetary iceberg.
Goldman’s Malaysian fiasco has put a bright spotlight on the mind-boggling sums of dirty money swamping the globe, according to anti-money-laundering experts.
Goldman is not the only Wall Street bank concerned with aiding and abetting criminal activity. Many banks are in a delicate dance with law enforcement.
“JPMorgan is so frightened that it is unilaterally closing accounts all over the world so it can’t be criticized for having any likelihood of money laundering,” one bank source told The Post.
Last year, the bank canceled business with 18,000 customers, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told investors this month. The bank has also exited or scaled back 500 foreign banking relationships along with tens of thousands of client relationships.
Posted by Tukar Tiub pada 8:00:00 PTG