“Despite repeated warnings from authorities that drug proceeds were being laundered through HSBC-Mexico in USD accounts and that HSBC was, according to one drug lord, ‘the place to launder money,’ HSBC Mexico continued to accepted billions of USD deposits each year, which it then exported to HSBC US.”WhoWhatWhy notes that HSBC is no stranger to money laundering accusations. It paid a $1.9 billion fine to the U.S. government in 2012 and admitted it failed to establish an effective anti-money laundering program. HSBC hired now-FBI Director James Comey to help get its house in order following that investigation. WhoWhatWhy notes the uniqueness of the lawsuit in that it characterizes the activities of drug cartels as terrorist organizations and seeks redress under a law enacted post 9/11 that allows victims to recover from organizations that support the perpetrators of terrorism. To support its contentions, the lawsuit reads:
“Beheadings, torture, public hangings of mutilated corpses, military-style assaults, grenade attacks, car bombings, and kidnappings are daily occurrences in many Mexican cities, and the cartels ensure that these acts are publicly displayed as a mechanism to intimidate and control the civilian population and the government.”
The suit alleges that HSBC’s actions, or inactions, amounted to knowingly providing “continuous and systematic material support to the cartels and their acts of terrorism by laundering billions of dollars for them. As a proximate result of HSBC’s material support to the Mexican drug cartels, numerous lives, including those of the plaintiffs, have been destroyed.”You can read the full text of the lawsuit by clicking here.