There appears to be increasing interest by film production companies in telling a story with a different perspective on the controversial closure of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
There is news in the western media, at least one movie, reports, and books that have sensationalised allegations against BCCI and its visionary founder, Mr Agha Hasan Abedi. The allegations left a lasting impression that BCCI as established a bankrupt with a unique criminal structure and the defamatory statement that the 'culture in BCCI was criminal from top to bottom'.
The BCCI story is projected as one of the history’s biggest scandal of bank alleged fraud and the reason to shut down the bank. No action was taken by the western regulators to shut down any of their large banks after they were discovered being associated with money laundering and other wrongdoings.
There was also no investigation to establish whether BCC was really bankrupt, and whether the authorities should have fined BCC for lapses in money laundering controls as they did with the major Western banks found guilty of similar lapses at a much grander scale.
Wachovia Bank, now part of Wells Fargo, one of the biggest banks enabled Mexican cartels to launder an estimated $390 billion between 2004-2007 Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures. It paid the U.S. federal authorities US$110 million in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling and incurred a US$50 million fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.
HSBC was profiting from an international criminal scheme even while on probation for having served murderous drug cartels and other criminals. HSBC had admitted to U.S. prosecutors in 2012 that it had helped dirty money flow through its branches around the world, including at least $881 million controlled by the notorious Sinaloa cartel and other Mexican drug gangs. In a controversial decision, prosecutors declined to seek an indictment of the bank but instead allowed it to pay a $1.92 billion settlement.
NatWest Bank in the UK £264 million after it admitted to a string of anti-money laundering failures related to the activities of a suspected "drugs gang" behind deposits worth hundreds of millions of pounds and taking deposits of laundered cash in bin bags.
Deutsche Bank of Germany fined US$630 million over money laundering claims in failing to prevent US$10bn of Russian money laundering and exposing the UK financial system to the risk of financial crime. Previous Deutsche fines include £1.7bn April 2015 for rigging Libor.
Danske Bank of Denmark money laundering scandal in which €200 billion of non-resident money flowed through the bank's Estonian branch from 2007 to 2015, estimated money-laundering fine of 20.9 billion kroner, or US$3.3 billion.
Swiss banking giant UBS fined €3.7 billion in a French tax fraud case in which the court found Switzerland's biggest bank guilty of illicit solicitation of clients and laundering the proceeds of tax fraud.
- Capital One paid a $290 million penalty (after a prior $100 million penalty) and admitted to "willfully failing to implement and maintain” anti-money laundering controls and file thousands of suspicious activity reports and lapsed on filing currency transaction reports on about 50,000 reportable cash transactions totalling more than US$16 billion in cash.
Many important questions remain unanswered on the shutdown of BCC and roles played by the regulators, politicians and other powers, primarily in the United States of America and United Kingdom. There has been no serious effort and independent research to inquire into the facts and the truth behind the actions and motivation towards BCC's abrupt closure.
- Was the culture in BCCI really criminal from top to bottom and engaged only in criminal activities?
- Was BCC bankrupt no longer able to meet its banking obligations?
- Did BCC collapse under the burden of financial debt that it was not able to repay?
BCCI Insights website is an effort to provide access to an alternative source of information and enable the public to read for themselves and form their own view about the BCCI organisation, its operations, success and the true mission of the founder.
The BCCI Campaign Committee coordinators are in contact with two film companies who have shown in interest in producing a documentary on BCCI that may tell a different story behind the controversial closure of BCC I and the impact it had on the former employees and clients. However, development of ideas and the commissioning process often being a slow burner, it can often be a lengthy period for projects to be greenlit and attract serious sponsors.
The two British film production companies are:
An award-winning production company making high impact, innovative and though provoking documentaries and podcast series.
Their main interest is to examine the aftermath of BCCI's closure and the impact this had on the lives of employees and customers.
Also an award-winning production company who have been around for 40 years telling stories with passion, honesty and flair through feature films, commercials and documentaries.
Their main interest is to explore whether there may have been other reasons to shutdown BCCI.
As progress is made by the companies, they are very likely to wish to talk to former employees and customers. The BCCI Campaign Committee has offered to reach out on their behalf.