Nov 1, 2017

HSBC accused of ‘possible criminal complicity’ in Gupta scandal

A British peer has accused HSBC of "Possible criminal complicity" in ignoring internal warnings over alleged money-laundering by the Gupta business family who are at the heart of a corruption scandal in South Africa. Lord Hain separately sent a letter to the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday in which he cited evidence showing that HSBC ignored internal warnings about the large transfers of money out of South Africa by the Gupta family, according to people briefed on the letter. Lord Hain, who grew up in South Africa and campaigned against apartheid, said in the Lords that transactions linked to the Gupta family were flagged as suspicious by the bank's internal systems "But I am informed that they were told from the UK headquarters to ignore it". Lord Hain said the information he provided to the Treasury "Showed illegal transfers of funds from South Africa made by the Gupta family over the past few years from their South African accounts, to accounts held in Dubai and Hong Kong". In Wednesday's debate, Mr Hain said he had also seen evidence that the Gupta family "Simply shifted their laundering machine into the metal recycling sector" after South African banks closed accounts linked to the family last year.

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