Fana Hlongwane, SA agent on Gripen sale, had HSBC Swiss account
7 July, 2015
Former South African arms deal advisor, Fana Hlongwane, holds one of more than 2,000 accounts held by South Africans at HSBC . Saab and BAE paid over a billion rand in commission to agents to secure the sale of 26 Gripen fighter jets to South Africa,
Apparently R154 million of the R1.5 billion in commission was paid to Fana Hlongwane, adviser to late defence minister Joe Modise. According to Expressen, R2 million was paid to Hlongwane in October 1999 via the company Red Diamond. The money then travelled via a Swiss agent into Hlongwane’s company Westunity.
In February 2015 the HSBC leak found 100 million kronor ($11.7 million) in three Swiss bank accounts belonging to Hlongwane. The programme reported that the money was related to the sale of Gripens to South Africa.
[May 14 HSBC Brazil CEO Guilherme André Brandão has no details on Switzerland bank accounts]
According to documents leaked by Hervé Falciani, which lists client names as of 2006, a total 8,000 Brazilians had accounts with HSBC Switzerland in that year. But no further information on suspected fraud has emerged so far
HSBC Brazil CEO Guilherme André Brandão was heard May 5 by a congressional committee of investigation (CPI) at the Senate that is probing potentially fraudulent bank accounts held by Brazilians with HSBC Switzerland. He claimed he has no details on Switzerland bank accounts, not even those held by Brazilian nationals.
According to Brandão, when a Brazilian client contacts the bank to open an account in Switzerland, bank executives in Brazil merely refer the applications to the agents overseas in charge of analyzing and approving investment recommendations and account applications. The bank’s office in Brazil holds a list of client referrals, but has no information as to which of them are successful.more on “operation Car Wash”
[February 21 Geneva’s Attorney General Olivier Jornot raids HSBC- implications for the bank]
Swiss prosecutors investigating allegations of tax avoidance have raided HSBC’s Geneva offices. The FT’s Martin Arnold and Jonathan Guthrie discuss the implications for the bank, and what this means for investors.
[February 18 Geneva’s Attorney General Olivier Jornot raids HSBC]
FEB 18, 2015 – 10:47 ” A search is currently under way in the premises of the bank, led by Attorney General Olivier Jornot and the prosecutor Yves Bertossa,” Geneva’s prosecutor said in a statement. The Geneva public prosecutor says it has initiated proceedings against the Swiss branch of HSBC for suspected money laundering. The prosecutor announced that following recent public revelations about the HSBC Private Bank – a Swiss subsidiary of a leading British bank – a criminal case has been filed against the bank and unknown persons for money laundering.
Regardless of the criminal liability of its employees, the bank can be prosecuted if it failed to take all the organisational measures necessary to prevent infringement from occurring.
Depending on its evolution of the investigation, the process is also likely to extend to individuals suspected of participating in money laundering within the bank, according to a statement by the prosecutor’s office. read more
[February 14 HSBC scandal in U.S.: Loretta Lynch avoided criminal prosecution of bank officers?]
Republicans believe leak ‘throws a monkey wrench’ into Lynch becoming the next attorney general as questions swirl over her role in $1.9bn bank settlement in 2012
The office of Sen. David Vitter, R-La., announced it is investigating why Loretta Lynch, in her capacity as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, allowed banking giant HSBC to avoid criminal prosecution of bank officers and other employees. HSBC paid a hefty fine, instead, for laundering uncounted billions of dollars of illegal drug and terrorist money through its U.S. bank in the service of Mexican drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists.
Main Justice prosecuted these cases, Lynch’s name just appeared on the press releases, it was Eric Holder’s show. But as a federal prosecutor, Lynch could have easily made decisions to charge individuals after the settlements were completed. She had the information at her disposal. But she chose instead to go along to get along, and you can see her elevation to attorney general as part of the reward.
[February 12 HSBC & Lord Fink “‘I didn’t object to his use of the word tax avoidance, because tax avoidance – everyone does it’.]
Shabana Mahmood, the shadow Treasury minister, has called for a “full and frank” statement from Lord Green, the former HSBC boss and former Tory trade minister, about what he knew about the tax scandal at HSBC.
Launching Labour’s education policy for the May general election at his former school in north London, Mr Miliband accused the coalition Government of failing to “act properly against tax avoidance”. The Labour leader said: “Yesterday a Conservative donor challenged me to stand by what I said in the House of Commons. I do. “And believe it or not, now today he confirmed it as well. He has just said, and I quote ‘I didn’t object to his use of the word tax avoidance, because tax avoidance – everyone does it’. “David Cameron must explain why he appointed a treasurer of the Conservative Party who boasts about engaging in tax avoidance and thinks it is something that everyone does. Baron Fink is a British former hedge fund manager, the former CEO and deputy chairman of the Man Group plc
The peer branded the Labour leader’s jibe in the Commons yesterday “untrue and defamatory” and challenged him to step out from the cover of parliamentary privilege so he could take legal action: he had a Swiss bank account because he was working for the Man Group in the country for four years from 1996 to 2000. “During this time I had need of a local bank account to do simple things like receive my Swiss franc salary and pay grocery bills,” he said.
[February 10 HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA -Hillary Clinton’s Foundation received $1M from account]
The files released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism detail 30,000 accounts held with the bank between 2005 and 2007 covering assets of nearly £78 billion. The files cover almost 7000 UK citizens and have been in the hands of HMRC since 2010.
HMRC has clawed back around £135 million from some of the 3600 British clients of the bank alleged to have avoided tax. Only one person has been prosecuted.
HSBC files show how HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions
Data in massive cache of leaked secret bank account files lift lid on questionable practices at subsidiary of one of world’s biggest financial institutions. Data from around 130,000 customers at the Anglo-Asian bank -see below
Under the terms of the 2012 agreement, HSBC was obligated for five years to both fully cooperate with prosecutors on any other investigations and commit no crimes after it signed the deal. HSBC Holdings plc (HSBA.L) could see its 2012 deferred prosecution deal with U.S. authorities over anti-money laundering lapses reopened as a result of separate, ongoing probes into the bank’s alleged role in manipulating currency rates and helping Americans evade taxes.
[November 21 2014 HSBC tax fraud and money laundering charges in France, Belgium from Hervé Falciani, whistleblower in Switzerland]
“We confirm that HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA has been placed under formal investigation by French magistrates who are examining whether the bank acted appropriately between 2006-07 in relation to certain clients of the bank who had French tax reporting requirements, as well as in relation to the way the bank offered its services in the country,” HSBC Private Bank In connection with the investigation, the bank has agreed to deposit a bail bond of 50 million euros ($62 million.
The investigation follows the theft of personal details of HSBC private banking clients in Switzerland that were passed on to Belgian and French authorities in 2010. HSBC Private Bank was charged with tax fraud and money laundering in Belgium on November 17.
At the end of 2008, Hervé Falciani committed what is believed to have been the most portentous theft of banking data in history. The systems engineer and former employee at the Geneva offices of HSBC left Switzerland for France and took data from around 130,000 customers at the Anglo-Asian bank along with him.
France’s finance minister at the time, current International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, then handed data supplied by Falciani on to other countries. With the help of the information, authorities were able to uncover hundreds of cases of tax evasion, including those involving members of Spain’s Botín banking family. In Greece, the data, which is often referred to as the “Lagarde List,” was largely forgotten until it returned to the headlines during the debt crisis.
Falciani, 41, has also cooperated with the American authorities. Indeed, on the strength of the information he provided, HBSC was forced to pay a $1.9 billion settlement with the United States after a Senate committee found that failures in HSBC’s money-laundering controls had enabled terrorists and drug cartels to gain access to the US financial system.
Last year, officials in Spain arrested Falciani in Barcelona. After a Spanish court rejected a Swiss extradition request for the Franco-Italian, he returned a few weeks ago to France, where examining magistrates have opened a new investigation into HSBC. The Botin family, which owns barely 2 percent of Santander, paid 200 million euros in penalties in 2011 to avoid charges of tax evasion related to a secret Swiss bank account. ‘Botin was the unofficial king of Spain.’
[October 22 Accounting system by consortia evades 1.7 billion euros in taxes for private companies of national importance]
Italy’s financial police on Tuesday said they had broken up a ring of companies they believe used false accounting to defraud the state of 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of tax. Police said two Rome businessmen, Pierino Tulli and Maurizio Ladaga, created a system using false invoices issued by intermediary subcontracting companies in areas such as security services and industrial cleaning to perpetrate the fraud. Using these false invoices, large sums of money were put into the accounts of shell companies. The funds were then taken out in cash and deposited in San Marino or Luxembourg, and the companies declared bankrupt, the police said.
The mechanism fraudulently used since 2001 to today’s date consisted generally in foster subcontracting services to co-operative societies specially constituted by the consortia administered by the suspects, who reportedly accounted for contracts from public entities, both by private companies of national importance . Cooperative societies, in turn, through the issuance of invoices for nonexistent transactions for about 400 million euro – credit the money received to further cooperative so-called “final”, whose accounts were gradually emptied by withdrawals cash, not justified by any business logic.
A total of 62 people are suspected of taking part in the fraud to some degree.